8. Acquired Hemolytic Anemias

  1. Alvin H. Schmaier MD and
  2. Hillard M. Lazarus MD, FACP
  1. Scott D. Gitlin MD, FACP

Published Online: 22 SEP 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444345254.ch8

Concise Guide to Hematology

Concise Guide to Hematology

How to Cite

Gitlin, S. D. (2011) Acquired Hemolytic Anemias, in Concise Guide to Hematology (eds A. H. Schmaier and H. M. Lazarus), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444345254.ch8

Editor Information

  1. Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, USA

Author Information

  1. Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor VA Health System, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 22 SEP 2011
  2. Published Print: 4 NOV 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405196666

Online ISBN: 9781444345254



  • hemolysis;
  • hemolytic anemia;
  • autoimmune drug reaction;
  • infection;
  • microangiopathic hemolytic anemia;
  • paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria;
  • direct antiglobulin test


Shortened survival of erythrocytes (red blood cells; RBCs) compared to normal, termed hemolysis, can be due to congenital or acquired etiologies. Hemolysis that exceeds the bone marrow's ability to adequately compensate for these losses and to maintain a normal hemoglobin level results in anemia. There are many potential acquired causes of hemolysis, ranging from those involving autoantibodies, infectious organisms, drug reactions, acquired clonal abnormalities, and others. This chapter describes the many causes of acquired hemolytic anemias, how to approach the evaluation and diagnosis of hemolysis, and the pathophysiology of the various hemolytic processes. Further, therapeutic approaches and clinical consequences are discussed.