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Article
June 5, 1943

COLD AGGLUTININS: A DIAGNOSTIC AID IN CERTAIN TYPES OF PRIMARY ATYPICAL PNEUMONIA

Author Affiliations

Commonwealth Fund Fellow in Preventive Medicine; Alexander Brown Coxe Memorial Fellow in Internal Medicine New Haven, Conn.

From the Section of Preventive Medicine and the Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1943;122(6):369-370. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.72840230003006a
Abstract

The occurrence of autohemagglutinins or so-called cold agglutinins in high titer in the serum of patients with primary atypical pneumonia has been reported recently by Peterson, Ham and Finland.1 These authors point out that the presence of true, reversible autohemagglutination may serve as a criterion for segregating some of the cases of primary atypical pneumonia. Although the test is not entirely specific, it would appear to have practical value in this part of the world, since the only infectious disease in which the phenomenon has been described consistently is African tryponosomiasis.2 Furthermore, autohemagglutination does not occur with any regularity in other clinical conditions, although it has been observed rarely in a few, including lobar pneumonia.3

The present report is confirmatory of the observations made by Peterson, Ham and Finland and deals with the testing of the serums of 43 patients with primary atypical pneumonia for cold agglutinins.

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