Overview Of Febrile/Cold Agglutinins
Febrile/Cold agglutinins are antibodies that cause the red blood cells to clump together.
- Cold agglutinins are active at cold temperatures.
- Febrile (warm) agglutinins are active at normal body temperatures.
This article describes the blood test that is used to measure the level of these antibodies in the blood.
Commonly Associated With
Cold agglutinins; Weil-Felix reaction; Widal test; Warm agglutinins; Agglutinins
How The Febrile/Cold Agglutinins Test Is Performed
A blood sample is needed.
There is no special preparation.
How The Febrile/Cold Agglutinins 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 where the needle was inserted.
Why The Febrile/Cold Agglutinins Test Is Performed
Normal results are:
- Warm agglutinins: no agglutination in titers at or below 1:80
- Cold agglutinins: no agglutination in titers at or below 1:16
The examples above are common measurements for results of these tests. 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
An abnormal (positive) result means there were agglutinins in your blood sample.
Warm agglutinins may occur with:
- Infections, including brucellosis, rickettsial disease, salmonella infection, and tularemia
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Use of certain medicines, including methyldopa, penicillin, and quinidine
Cold agglutinins may occur with:
Risks are slight but may include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Fainting or feeling lightheaded
- Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
- Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)
If a disease linked to cold agglutinin is suspected, the person needs to be kept warm.