Coombs Direct Antiglobulin Blood Test
The Coombs Direct Antiglobulin Blood Test detects antibodies attached to red blood cells that cause hemolytic anemia.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Coombs Direct Antiglobulin Blood Test, which helps detect antibodies attached to red blood cells that cause hemolytic anemia. The Direct Antiglobulin Test (DAT) is a diagnostic tool that checks for the presence of antibodies on the surface of red blood cells (RBCs) in the bloodstream. These antibodies can cause the destruction of the RBCs. The primary purpose of the test is to determine if hemolytic anemia is due to antibody attachment to RBCs. Hemolytic anemia is a condition in which RBCs are destroyed faster than they can be replaced. The DAT can also aid in diagnosing Hemolytic Disease of the Newborn (HDN), which can occur when a mother's and baby's blood types are incompatible. Additionally, a DAT can be used to investigate a suspected transfusion reaction.
What conditions cause an abnormal DAT result?
There are several conditions that can cause a positive DAT, including:
- Blood transfusion reaction: If a person receives blood from a donor whose blood type is not a complete match, their immune system will produce antibodies that recognize the donor's red blood cells as foreign and attack them, destroying them.
- Mother-baby blood type incompatibility: It's possible for a baby to have a different blood type than their mother if they inherit a blood type from their father. During pregnancy or labor, the mother may come into contact with the baby's red blood cells (RBCs), which her immune system could identify as foreign. This can lead to the mother producing antibodies aimed at attacking the baby's RBCs.
- Autoimmune disorder: There are individuals who produce autoantibodies that attack their own red blood cells (RBCs). Autoantibodies are produced when the immune system mistakenly identifies its own red blood cells as foreign invaders.
- Medication: Certain antibiotics, including penicillin, cephalosporins, and piperacillin, can destroy red blood cells by inducing antibodies against them.
When should I order a Coombs Direct Antiglobulin Blood Test?
Individuals may order this test if they have experienced symptoms related to hemolytic anemia. Common signs or symptoms associated with this condition include:
- Pale skin
- Enlarged liver or spleen
- Swelling throughout the body
- Trouble breathing
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