Acquired haemophilia

Baillieres Clin Haematol. 1998 Jun;11(2):287-303. doi: 10.1016/s0950-3536(98)80049-8.


Acquired haemophilia is a rare but life-threatening acquired bleeding diathesis caused by autoimmune depletion of factor VIII. This occurs most frequently in elderly patients who lack disease associations. Acquired haemophilia may also arise in association with SLE rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren's syndrome, other autoimmune conditions, lymphoproliferative malignancy, pregnancy and as a drug reaction. Acquired haemophilia has an equal sex distribution. The aims of treatment are to eliminate the inhibitor by immunosuppression and to treat the bleeding, which is the most common cause of death in patients with acquired haemophilia. The inhibitor is abolished in up to 70% of patients using prednisolone and cyclophosphamide, although other immunosuppressive regimens may also be used. These include azathioprine, vincristine and other cytotoxic agents, high-dose immunoglobulin and cyclosporin A. Bleeding may be controlled using porcine factor VIII or recombinant factor VIIa, although human factor VIII and prothrombin complex concentrates also have a limited role as haemostatic agents in this condition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Autoimmunity
  • Factor VIII* / immunology
  • Factor VIII* / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Hemorrhagic Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Hemorrhagic Disorders* / immunology
  • Hemorrhagic Disorders* / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Sex Factors


  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Factor VIII