The indirect Coombs test (also known as the indirect antiglobulin test or IAT) is used to detect in-vitro antibody-antigen reactions. It is used to detect very low concentrations of antibodies present in a patient’s plasma/serum prior to a blood transfusion.
Why is coombs Test Done?
The Coombs test checks the blood to see if it contains certain antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that your immune system makes when it detects that something may be harmful to your health. These antibodies will destroy the harmful invader. If the immune system’s detection is wrong, it will make antibodies that don’t destroy the invader. This can cause many kinds of health problems.
The Coombs test will help your doctor determine if you have antibodies in your bloodstream that are causing your immune system to attack and destroy your own red blood cells. If your red blood cells are being destroyed, this can result in a condition called hemolytic anemia.
There are two types of Coombs tests: the direct Coombs test and the indirect Coombs test. The direct test is more common and checks for antibodies that are attached to the surface of your red blood cells. The indirect test checks for unattached antibodies that are floating in the bloodstream. It is also administered to determine if there was a potential bad reaction to a blood transfusion.
the direct Coombs test is positive, a visual indication that antibodies (and/or complement proteins) are bound to the surface of red blood cells. The indirect Coombs test is used in prenatal testing of pregnant women and in testing blood prior to a blood transfusion.