Assessment of Red Blood Cell Parameters and Peripheral Smear at Different Temperatures in Case of Cold Agglutination Disease
Cold agglutination disease (CAD) is characterized by an auto‑antibody which is able to agglutinate red blood cells (RBCs) at temperatures lower than that of the body, and subsequently to activate the complement system responsible for lysis of RBCs. Patients show hemolytic anemia of varying degrees of severity, which arise or worsen upon exposure to low temperatures. We describe a case who presented with fever and symptoms of asthenia. His investigations yielded bizarre RBC parameters which led to suspicion of a rare CAD, which was confirmed on reviewing RBC parameters, peripheral smear and direct Coomb’s test at different temperatures. Hence, we suggest assessment of bizarre RBC parameters and peripheral smear can help in laboratory testing and diagnosis of CAD. It should also not pose embarrassment in laboratory testing to the pathologist for making an early and accurate diagnosis, thus emphasizing the need for an early treatment of CAD.
Keywords: Cold agglutination disease, Peripheral smear, Red blood cell parameters