Asdis Linda Sverrisdottir


Master Student: Ásdís Linda Sverrisdóttir
Specialisation: Internal Medicine
Project: "What is the diagnostic usefulness of the Coombs' test for Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia in dogs"


Immune mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) is serious disease and one of the most common immune mediated disease in dogs. IMHA has often poor outcome and high mortality rate.

Methods and Objectives

of this study was to do a literature review on the usefulness of the Coombs' tests in the diagnosis of Immune mediated hemolytic anemia. 
The Coombs' test detects the immune reaction in the disease. The specificity is good but the disadvantage of the test is its low sensitivity. The patient selection is important to increase the tests sensitivity and good clinical workup before running the test. Excluding concurrent diseases of non-immune mediated origin is important. The Coombs' test is usually run on polyvalent reagent at 37°C but running the test with both poly and monovalent at 4°C and 37°C will increase the sensitivity of the test. The use of dilute multiple sera beyond the manufactures guidance will also increase the sensitivity of the test. The pattern of the test with monovalent reagent can give us knowledge of different immunoglobulins that may indicate different pathogenesis of the anemia. This can give us hint in distinguish between primary and secondary IMHA or anemia of non-immune mediated cause.


of this study is that the test is useful and important in the diagnosis of immune reaction and the only test on the market that is widely available today.