Cold weather causes woman to develop web-like purple rash

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A 70-year-old New York woman developed a strange spidery rash after cold weather triggered a rare blood condition.

In a case published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a woman from upstate New York sought medical attention for dizziness and a purple rash.

Doctors noted that the rash was consistent with livedo reticularis, which is caused by blood vessel spasms or abnormal circulation beneath the skin, according to the Mayo Clinic.

But after blood samples revealed an almost clear fluid with red clumps instead of a deep crimson fluid, doctors diagnosed the woman with a rare autoimmune condition called cold agglutinin disease.

According to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, the disease causes antibodies that normally attack bacteria to attach to red blood cells when triggered by cold temperatures. The cells end up in clumps through a process known as agglutination, eventually getting destroyed and resulting in a drastic decrease in blood oxygen.

Doctors believe the woman's condition was exacerbated by a recent viral infection, as well as the below freezing weather at the time.

Fox News reports that the woman was kept warm and treated with blood transfusions and medication. After a week, the ratio of red blood cells to total blood volume doubled, indicating the anemia had disappeared. Dizziness also subsided, but the rash persisted.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Purple rash consistent with livedo reticularis caused by spastic blood vessels
2. Abnormal blood sample led to cold agglutinin disease diagnosis
3. How cold agglutinin disease causes antibodies to attack blood cells
4. Condition exacerbated by viral infection and cold temperatures
5. How woman's condition was treated

VOICEOVER (in English):
"In a case published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a woman from upstate New York sought medical attention for dizziness and a purple rash."

"Doctors noted that the rash was consistent with livedo reticularis, which is caused by blood vessel spasms or abnormal circulation beneath the skin, according to the Mayo Clinic."

"But after blood samples revealed an almost clear fluid with red clumps instead of a deep crimson fluid, doctors diagnosed the woman with a rare autoimmune condition called cold agglutinin disease."

"According to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, the disease causes antibodies that normally attack bacteria to attach to red blood cells when triggered by cold temperatures."

"The cells end up in clumps through a process known as agglutination, eventually getting destroyed and resulting in a drastic decrease in blood oxygen. "

"Doctors believe the woman's condition was exacerbated by a recent viral infection, as well as the below freezing weather at the time."

"Fox News reports that the woman was kept warm and treated with blood transfusions and medication."

"After a week, the ratio of red blood cells to total blood volume doubled, indicating the anemia had disappeared. Dizziness also subsided, but the rash persisted."

SOURCES: New England Journal of Medicine, Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, Mayo Clinic, Fox News
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMicm1902289
https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/6130/cold-agglutinin-disease
https://www.mayoclinic.org/livedo-reticularis/expert-answers/faq-20057864
https://www.foxnews.com/health/new-york-woman-purple-rash-cold-weather