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Cold Agglutinins

How It Feels

The blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm. An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel tight. You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick sting or pinch.

Risks

There is very little chance of a problem from having a blood sample taken from a vein.

  • You may get a small bruise at the site. You can lower the chance of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for several minutes.
  • In rare cases, the vein may become swollen after the blood sample is taken. This problem is called phlebitis. A warm compress can be used several times a day to treat this.
  • Ongoing bleeding can be a problem for people with bleeding disorders. Aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and other blood-thinning medicines can make bleeding more likely. If you have bleeding or clotting problems, or if you take blood-thinning medicine, tell your doctor before your blood sample is taken.

Results

A cold agglutinins blood test is done to check for conditions that cause the body to make certain antibodies called cold agglutinins. The results of the cold agglutinins test is usually reported in titers.

Normal

The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.

Cold agglutinins 1
Normal titer

Less than 1 to 16 (1:16) at 4 C

High values

  • High titers of cold agglutinins may be caused by infections, such as pneumonia caused by mycoplasma, mononucleosis, hepatitis C, or other viral infections.
  • High titers of cold agglutinins can cause symptoms when a person is exposed to cold temperatures. These symptoms can include numbness, burning, pain, or pale skin of the fingertips, toes, ears, or nose. Very high titers can mean you have a higher chance of developing blood clots (thromboses) when exposed to cold temperatures.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
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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