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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Cold agglutinin disease


Other Names for this Disease
  • Anemia, hemolytic, cold antibody
  • Cold antibody hemolytic anemia
  • Cold antibody disease
  • CAD
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Overview

Cold agglutinin disease is a rare type of autoimmune hemolytic anemia in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys its own red blood cells. When affected people's blood is exposed to cold temperatures (32º to 50º F), certain proteins that normally attack bacteria (IgM antibodies) attach themselves to red blood cells and bind them together into clumps (agglutination). This eventually causes red blood cells to be prematurely destroyed (hemolysis) leading to anemia and other associated signs and symptoms. Cold agglutinin disease can be primary (unknown cause) or secondary, due to an underlying condition such as an infection, another autoimmune disease, or certain cancers. Treatment depends on many factors including the severity of the condition, the signs and symptoms present in each person, and the underlying cause.[1][2][3]
Last updated: 5/26/2016

References

  1. Salman Abdullah Aljubran, MD. Cold Agglutinin Disease. Medscape Reference. April 2015; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/135327-overview.
  2. Anemia, Hemolytic, Cold Antibody. NORD. 2006; http://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/anemia-hemolytic-cold-antibody/.
  3. Stanley L Schrier, MD; Wendell F Rosse, MD. Clinical features and treatment of autoimmune hemolytic anemia: Cold agglutinins. UpToDate. September 11, 2015; http://www.uptodate.com/contents/clinical-features-and-treatment-of-autoimmune-hemolytic-anemia-cold-agglutinins.
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Basic Information

  • The Merck Manual provides information on this condition for patients and caregivers. 
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Merck Manual for health care professionals provides information on Cold agglutinin disease.
  • MeSH® (Medical Subject Headings) is a terminology tool used by the National Library of Medicine. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Cold agglutinin disease. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Anemia, hemolytic, cold antibody
  • Cold antibody hemolytic anemia
  • Cold antibody disease
  • CAD
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.