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Leukoagglutinin Blood Test

Last updated June 2, 2019

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

The Leukoagglutinin Blood Test detects leukoagglutinins in the donor’s blood by mixing the recipient’s blood with the donor’s white blood cells and examining them under a microscope for cell damage.

What are other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • Leukoagglutinin Blood Level Test

What is the Leukoagglutinin Blood Test? (Background Information)

  • Leukoagglutinins are antibodies that target white blood cells (leukocytes) instead of defending the body against foreign invaders. They may cause transfusion reactions after a blood transfusion
  • If a transfusion reaction occurs due to leukoagglutinins, it is more likely that the leukoagglutinins are present in the blood of the individual receiving a blood transfusion, than in the blood of the donor
  • Transfusion reactions may occur even though compatible blood is transfused. They are often accompanied by fever and, in severe cases, multi-organ system failure
  • The Leukoagglutinin Blood Test detects leukoagglutinins in the donor’s blood by mixing the recipient’s blood with the donor’s white blood cells and examining them under a microscope for cell damage. A dye may be added for visualization

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Leukoagglutinin Blood Test?

The clinical indications for performing the Leukoagglutinin Blood Test include investigating a possible transfusion reaction that may have the following signs and symptoms:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Skin flushing
  • Discolored urine

How is the Specimen Collected for Leukoagglutinin Blood Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for Leukoagglutinin Blood Test:

Sample required: Blood 

Process of obtaining a blood sample in adults:

  • A band is wrapped around the arm, 3-4 inches above the collection site (superficial vein that lies within the elbow pit)
  • The site is cleaned with 70% alcohol in an outward spiral, away from the zone of needle insertion
  • The needle cap is removed and is held in line with the vein, pulling the skin tight
  • With a small and quick thrust, the vein is penetrated using the needle
  • The required amount of blood sample is collected by pulling the plunger of the syringe out slowly
  • The wrap band is removed, gauze is placed on the collection site, and the needle is removed
  • The blood is immediately transferred into the blood container, which has the appropriate preservative/clot activator/anti-coagulant
  • The syringe and the needle are disposed into the appropriate “sharp container” for safe and hygienic disposal

Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test.

What is the Significance of the Leukoagglutinin Blood Test Result?

  • Microscopic detection of white blood cells that have taken up the dye is interpreted as a positive value for the Leukoagglutinin Blood Test. This may point to a diagnosis of a transfusion reaction

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

  • Certain factors, such as pregnancy, may interfere with the results of the Leukoagglutinin Blood Test

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider, the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

Please visit our Laboratory Procedures Center for more physician-approved health information:


References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: June 4, 2016
Last updated: June 2, 2019