Cold Agglutinin Disease

Below you will find more information about Cold Agglutinin Disease from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Cold Agglutinin Disease it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Cold Agglutinin Disease and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Cold Agglutinin Disease comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.


Cold agglutinin disease is a form of hemolytic anemia, wherein there is a decrease in the levels of red blood cells caused by malfunction of the body's immune system. The body mistakenly creates antibodies that destroy healthy red blood cells during cold temperatures. Red blood cells normally have a 120-day lifespan before being disposed by the body's spleen; however, in people with the disease, they are prematurely destroyed and production in bone marrow can't compensate for the loss.


The diagnosis is made through complete blood count, Direct Coombs test, and bedside cold agglutinin test.


Conventional treatments can help alleviate its symptoms, but don't actually address the cause of its problem. Prevent being exposed to cold temperatures. Severe cases can require Chlorambucil or other similar drugs. High dosage of interferon or intravenous immunoglobulin might help several severe cases.

Symptoms and Signs

The disorder may manifest different signs including anemia due to low red blood cell level; fatigue; jaundice with persistent yellow skin, eyes, and mucous membrane; and/or coldness and sweating of toes and fingers with reddish or bluish skin discoloration. The uncommon feature of the disease is that during normal temperature of the body, hemolysis doesn't happen, but rather, just at low temperatures.


The cause of cold agglutinin disease is unknown or idiopathic.

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