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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Positive direct antiglobulin tests due to clavulanic acid.

Clavulanic acid, a beta-lactamase inhibitor, was found to be associated with the development of a positive direct antiglobulin test. Of 23 antibiotic courses in patients treated with ticarcillin, clavulanic acid, and tobramycin, 10 (43.5%) developed positive direct antiglobulin tests versus 2 of 26 (7.7%) patients treated with piperacillin and tobramycin (P = 0.0044). In vitro immunohematological studies showed that clavulanic acid caused a nonimmunologic adsorption of plasma proteins onto the erythrocyte surface. Hemolysis was not associated with such nonimmunologic adsorption. However, the resulting positive antiglobulin test might delay cross matching of blood products for transfusions or interfere with the evaluation of true immune-mediated hemolytic anemia.[1]


  1. Positive direct antiglobulin tests due to clavulanic acid. Williams, M.E., Thomas, D., Harman, C.P., Mintz, P.D., Donowitz, G.R. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (1985) [Pubmed]
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