Haemolytic anaemia is the result of an abnormal breakdown of red blood cells. The direct antiglobulin test (DAT), also known as the direct Coombs test, can be used to determine the cause of the haemolysis. The DAT distinguishes between immune and non-immune causes of haemolysis. However, the DAT should not be used in screening for haemolysis. When the DAT is performed without an indication for in vivo haemolysis, there is a high risk of false-positive results. To increase the specificity of the DAT, the eluate can be tested to determine the specificity of the autoantibodies. In this article we present two cases of haemolytic anaemia in which the DAT gives further indication of the cause of haemolysis.
Conflict of interest and financial support: none declared.