There is very little chance of a problem from
having 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
- 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.
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.
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.
| Normal titer|
Below 1 to 40
- High titers of cold agglutinins may be caused
by infections, such as pneumonia caused by mycoplasma,
cytomegalovirus, or other viral infections. High
titers can also mean
an autoimmune disease.
- High levels of cold
agglutinins can also be caused by diseases such as
rheumatoid arthritis, or
- Very high titers of cold
agglutinins (more than 1 to 1,000) can mean
lymphoma is present.
- 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
What Affects the Test
You may not be able to have this test or the results may not be helpful if you are taking antibiotics, especially penicillin and
What To Think About
- More than half of people infected with
pneumonia caused by mycoplasma develop high levels of cold agglutinins. Newer
tests for mycoplasma pneumonia have replaced the cold agglutinins blood
- If clumped red blood cells (called a Rouleaux formation) are
seen on a complete blood count (CBC) test, your doctor may order a cold
agglutinins test to see whether high cold agglutinin levels are present.
- A blood type test is done before a blood transfusion or organ
transplant to make sure that the donor's and recipient's blood types match.
Blood that has high levels of cold agglutinins may be hard to type. For more
information about blood typing, see the topic
Blood Type Test.
- If a person has high
levels of cold agglutinins and has symptoms brought on by cold temperatures, it
is important for this person to be kept warm. High levels of cold agglutinins
in this case could lead to
frostbite, anemia, or
Raynaud's phenomenon. Medicines to help lower high
levels of cold agglutinins may be given when severe symptoms are brought on by
- Older adults may have high titers of cold
agglutinins that last for years.
- Cold agglutinins in the blood can
cause problems with automated machines that measure blood count.