Which conditions should be included in the differential diagnoses of cold agglutinin disease?

Updated: Aug 28, 2018
  • Author: Salman Abdullah Aljubran, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Answer

Conditions to consider in the differential diagnosis of cold agglutinin disease include the following:

  • Cryoglobulinemia

  • Warm antibody–mediated autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) - Some cases of cold agglutinin disease may be confused with this condition, particularly those in which the antibody has a high thermal amplitude

  • Episodic hemoglobinuria following cold exposure

  • Neoplasms - Especially of the lymphoid type

  • Drug-induced immune hemolytic anemia

  • Rheumatologic diseases manifesting Raynaud syndrome

  • Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia/thrombosis syndrome - Patients may have painful digits; anemia could be due to bleeding, but other manifestations are different

  • Systemic vasculitis, sometimes with hemolysis (systemic lupus and scleroderma)

  • Erythromelalgia in association with primary thrombocythemia and painful fingers and toes

  • Malaria and certain other infections


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