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A novel method for demonstrating cold agglutinin disease: a case report.

  • Author(s): Vo, TA
  • Oakey, Z
  • Khan, YA
  • Minckler, DS
  • et al.
Abstract

Cold agglutinin disease is a rare disorder characterized by an autoimmune hemolytic anemia occurring at low temperatures. Physical examination findings, often limited to acrocyanosis, are combined with a thermal amplitude test to help establish the diagnosis. Thermal amplitude testing determines the highest temperature at which the cold agglutination will occur and is an important parameter in diagnosing cold agglutinin disease.Here we describe a 57-year-old white man of German and Nicaraguan descent with known chronic cold agglutinin disease who presented to our ophthalmology clinic for evaluation of a cataract. During routine cataract surgery, the lowered temperature of the conjunctiva from intermittent flow of balanced salt solution at room temperature induced a cold agglutination reaction in conjunctival vessels easily visible under a surgical microscope.To the best of our knowledge, this method of demonstrating cold agglutinin disease has not been described in the literature and could easily be performed utilizing an ordinary slit lamp. This method could be used as an alternative and rapid screening method for cold agglutinin disease.

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