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Donath-Landsteiner test
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Donath-Landsteiner test

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Anti-P antibody

The Donath-Landsteiner test is a blood test to detect harmful antibodies related to a rare disorder called paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria. The antibodies form and destroy red blood cells when the body is exposed to cold temperatures.

I Would Like to Learn About:

  • How the Test is Performed

    A blood sample is needed.

  • How to Prepare for the Test

    No special preparation is needed.

  • How the Test will Feel

    When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise. This soon goes away.

  • Why the Test is Performed

    This test is done to confirm a diagnosis of paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria.

  • Normal Results

    The test is considered normal if no Donath-Landsteiner antibodies are present.

    Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

  • What Abnormal Results Mean

    Abnormal results mean Donath-Landsteiner antibodies are present. This is a sign of paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria.

  • Risks

    There is very little risk involved with having your blood taken. Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Taking blood from some people may be more difficult than from others.

    Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight, but may include:

    • Excessive bleeding
    • Fainting or feeling light-headed
    • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
    • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

Related Information

  AntibodyParoxysmal cold he...ComplementMeaslesMumps    

References

Cooling L, Downs T. Immunohematology. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 35.

Schwartz RS. Autoimmune and intravascular hemolytic anemias. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 163.

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Review Date: 2/24/2014  

Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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