Paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria and the elusive DonathLandsteiner antibody

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Immunohematology

American National Red Cross

Subject: Medical Laboratory Technology

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ISSN: 0894-203X
eISSN: 1930-3955

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VOLUME 14 , ISSUE 3 (September 1998) > List of articles

Paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria and the elusive DonathLandsteiner antibody

R.J. Sokol / D.J. Booker / R. Stamps

Keywords : autoimmune hemolytic anemia, Donath-Landsteiner antibodies, paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria

Citation Information : Immunohematology. Volume 14, Issue 3, Pages 109-112, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21307/immunohematology-2019-673

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Published Online: 03-November-2020

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ABSTRACT

Four patients with paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria (PCH) illustrate some of the difficulties in making the diagnosis. A 46-year-old male presented with anemia, a weakly positive direct antiglobulin test (DAT) with anti-IgG, a haptoglobin < 0.1 g/L, and a cold autoagglutinin showing anti-P specificity. A 9-year-old female had a 4-day coryzal illness, a 20 g/L fall in hemoglobin over 24 hours, and a haptoglobin < 0.1 g/L; the DAT was positive with anti-C3d. A 3-year-old female was referred following a rapid drop in hemoglobin of 30 g/L; the DAT was positive with anti-C3d. A 17-month-old female, unwell for 2 weeks, had a hemoglobin of 41 g/L; the DAT was strongly positive with anti-C3d and weakly positive with anti-IgG and -C3c. In all patients, PCH was confirmed by positive indirect DonathLandsteiner tests, and the autoantibodies demonstrated P specificity. In two patients, the test was strongly positive; in the third patient, it was only positive using papainized red cells; and in the fourth patient, a two-stage papainized procedure was needed before a positive result was obtained. PCH must always be considered in a child with a rapid drop in hemoglobin, even if initial tests are negative.

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