The clinical pattern of haemolysis associated with Donath-Landsteiner antibodies has undergone a change over the years. In the current study 13 patients developed the acute form of the disease whilst only 1 presented with the classical picture of chronic paroxysmal cold haemoglobinuria. The acute illness typically occurred in young children with a male predominance of about 2.5:1; 10 patients were less than 5 years old. There.was often a history of a preceding infection, the onset was sudden, prostration, haemoglobinuria and pallor were prominent. The patients were very ill but rapid and complete recovery usually occurred within a few days; however, 1 patient died. Treatment consisted of rest and warmth; in addition blood transfusion was needed in 7 patients. The chronic disease (which was non-syphilitic in origin) followed a benign course, warmth and avoidance of cold being all that were necessary to maintain the patient’s well-being. It is felt that the general term for this disorder should be Donath-Landsteiner haemolysis rather than the traditional paroxysmal cold haemoglobinuria

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