Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.

Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Cold agglutinin disease


Other Names for this Disease
  • Anemia, hemolytic, cold antibody
  • CAD
  • CAS
  • Chronic cold agglutinin disease
  • Cold agglutinin syndrome
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: 5/6/2015

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. March 2008; http://www.rarediseases.org/rare-disease-information/rare-diseases/byID/723/viewFullReport.
  3. Stanley L Schrier, MD; Wendell F Rosse, MD. Clinical features and treatment of autoimmune hemolytic anemia: Cold agglutinins. UpToDate. December 2014; Accessed 5/5/2015.
GARD Video Tutorials
GARD Video Tutorials
Learn how to find information on treatment, research, specialists, and more.
Your Questions Answered
Your Questions Answered
View questions about this condition answered by GARD Information Specialists. You can also submit a new question.

Basic Information

  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • CAD
  • CAS
  • Chronic cold agglutinin disease
  • Cold agglutinin syndrome
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.