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Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 D59.0-D59.1
ICD-9 283.0
MeSH D000744

Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) is a type of hemolytic anemia where the body's immune system attacks its own red blood cells (RBCs), leading to their destruction (hemolysis).[1][2] Types of AIHA include Warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia, Cold agglutinin disease, and Paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria.



Although MeSH uses the term "autoimmune hemolytic anemia",[3] some sources prefer the term "immunohemolytic anemia" so that drug reactions can be included in this category.[4][5]

The National Cancer Institute considers "immunohemolytic anemia", "autoimmune hemolytic anemia", and "immune complex hemolytic anemia" to all be synonyms.[6]


Antibodies and associated complement system components become fixed onto the RBC surface. These antibodies can be detected with the direct antiglobulin test, also known as the direct Coombs test.

AIHA can also be induced by several drugs including methyldopa and fludarabine.


Haemolysis can be intravascular or extravascular.

  • Intravascular haemolysis: Red blood cell lysis occurs in the circulation as a result of activation of the complement system cascade.

Laboratory findings

Evidence for Haemolysis[7]

Increased red cell breakdown:

Increased red cell production:

Specific Investigations

See also


  1. ^ Autoimmune hemolytic anemia at Mount Sinai Hospital
  2. ^ "Hemolytic Anemia: Overview - eMedicine Hematology". Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  3. ^ MeSH Autoimmune+hemolytic+anemia
  4. ^ Wright MS (1999). "Drug-induced hemolytic anemias: increasing complications to therapeutic interventions". Clin Lab Sci 12 (2): 115–8. PMID 10387489. 
  5. ^ Cotran, Ramzi S.; Kumar, Vinay; Fausto, Nelson; Nelso Fausto; Robbins, Stanley L.; Abbas, Abul K. (2005). Robbins and Cotran pathologic basis of disease. St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier Saunders. pp. 636. ISBN 0-7216-0187-1. 
  6. ^ "Definition of immunohemolytic anemia - NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms". Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  7. ^ Kumar P, Clark M (2005), Clinical Medicine 6th Ed, Elsevier Saunders pg 437

External links



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