Donath Landsteiner antibody

Last updated: Wednesday, 05, December, 2007

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Item Process
SpecimenCollection by laboratory staff into 2 plain tubes, one at 37°C and one at 4°C.
MethodSupernatant serum examined for evidence of red cell lysis, comparing a tube incubated at 4°C then 37°C with a tube maintained at 37°C.
Reference Interval
No lysis in either tube.
ApplicationDiagnosis of paroxysmal cold haemoglobinuria.

The Donath Landsteiner antibody is an IgG autoantibody that binds to red cells in the cold and fixes complement; lysis occurs when cells are warmed to 37°C.

Presence of the antibody is diagnostic for paroxysmal cold haemoglobinuria. This rare disorder may occur in syphilis and after viral infections in children.

ReferenceMitchell Lewis S, Bain BJ, Bates I. Dacie and Lewis Practical Haematology. Churchill Livingstone. 10th ed 2006.