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Antibody Tests (Coombs Test)

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

  • Having a blood transfusion in the past.
  • Being pregnant within the past 3 months.
  • Taking some medicines, such as cephalosporins, sulfa medicines, tuberculosis medicines, insulin, and tetracyclines.

What To Think About

A newborn baby (whose mother has Rh-negative blood) may have a direct Coombs test to check for antibodies against the baby's red blood cells. If the test is positive, the baby may need a transfusion with compatible blood to prevent anemia.

Related Information

Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerW. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
Last RevisedDecember 30, 2011
1|2|3

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 30, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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