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Cold agglutinin; titer

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Cold agglutinin; titer
Common Name(s): Cold antibody test
Medical Term(s): Cold agglutinin titer


The Cold agglutinin titer is a blood test used to detect the presence of cold agglutinins—antibodies that cause red blood cells to clump together at low temperatures.


This test is primarily used to diagnose conditions like cold agglutinin disease (CAD) and certain infections. It helps identify abnormal antibodies that can cause hemolytic anemia, where red blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be produced.


  • Symptoms like fatigue, pale skin, and shortness of breath
  • Anemia that worsens in cold temperatures
  • Suspected autoimmune disorders
  • Infections like Mycoplasma pneumoniae


  • No special preparation is usually required for this blood test.
  • It may be advised to wear warm clothing to prevent the sample from cooling.

Procedure Description

  1. A healthcare professional will draw a blood sample from your arm using a needle.
  2. The blood sample is collected in a tube and sent to the lab.
  3. In the lab, the sample is cooled to specific temperatures to observe antibody activity and red cell clumping.


The blood draw typically takes about 10 minutes. Test results may take a few days to be processed and reviewed.


This blood test can be performed at a hospital, outpatient clinic, or diagnostic laboratory.


The procedure involves:

  • A phlebotomist or nurse to draw the blood
  • Lab technicians to analyze the sample
  • A doctor to interpret the results

Risks and Complications

  • Minor risks include bruising or bleeding at the needle site.
  • Rarely, infection at the needle site or feeling lightheaded may occur.


  • Helps in accurate diagnosis and management of cold agglutinin disease and other related conditions.
  • Guides appropriate treatment plans.
  • Can rule out other causes of hemolytic anemia.


  • Minimal recovery needed; you can resume most normal activities immediately after the blood draw.
  • Keep the bandage on the puncture site for a few hours and avoid heavy lifting with the affected arm.


  • Direct antiglobulin test (DAT)
  • Other blood tests for hemolytic anemia or autoimmune disorders
  • Diagnostic imaging or additional lab tests depending on underlying symptoms

Patient Experience

  • Slight discomfort during the needle insertion.
  • Mild soreness at the puncture site.
  • Results review with your healthcare provider for further discussion on treatment or management steps.

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