Autoimmune hemolytic anemia


  • Bradley C. Gehrs,

    1. Department of Pathology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
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  • Richard C. Friedberg

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pathology, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Massachusetts
    • Department of Pathology, Baystate Medical Center, 759 Chestnut Street, Springfield, Massachusetts 01199
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Red blood cell (RBC) autoantibodies are a relatively uncommon cause of anemia. However, autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) must be considered in the differential diagnosis of hemolytic anemias, especially if the patient has a concomitant lymphoproliferative disorder, autoimmune disease, or viral or mycoplasmal infection. Classifications of AIHA include warm AIHA, cold agglutinin syndrome, paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria, mixed-type AIHA, and drug-induced AIHA. Characteristics of the autoantibodies are responsible for the various clinical entities. As a result, diagnosis is based on the clinical presentation and a serologic work-up. For each classification of AIHA, this review discusses the demographics, etiology, clinical presentation, laboratory evaluation, and treatment options. Am. J. Hematol. 69:258–271, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.