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What does a positive Direct Coombs' Test imply?

Q: I am a 37 years old female and was asked to undergo Direct Coombs' Test. The result has come out +1. Is it dangerous? To add, I had been treated of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in the past and right now taking medicine Duphaston. I experience fatigue at times.

A:The Direct Coombs' Test (Direct Anti-globulin Test, DAT) is usually done to diagnose immune haemolytic anaemia, a type of anaemia where the red cells are destroyed due to antibodies attaching to them. This may be secondary to an auto-immune disease, some medicines, infections, diseases etc. A positive test result means that antibodies are bound to the red cells. The stronger or more positive the test, greater is the amount of bound antibodies. A positive test result needs to be correlated with your symptoms and clinical findings so that the cause can be found. The test can also be positive in a small proportion of normal healthy individuals. Please discuss with your doctor and do not worry unnecessarily.


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