Autoimmune hemolytic anemia

Arch Intern Med. 1975 Oct;135(10):1293-300.


Warm-type autoantibodies of autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) are usually IgG but may be IgM or IgA. They are usual Rh specific. Cold-type antibodies are IgM or IgG (Donath-Landsteiner [DL] antibody). IgM antibodies are usually anit-l (occasionally anti-i) and DL antibodies anti-P. The warm IgG antibodies do not fix complement (C); they cause red blood cell (RBC) destruction predominantly in the spleen as the result of interaction between fixing; they cause RBC destruction either by intravascular lysis (complement sequence completed) or by interaction between C3-coated RBCs and phagocytes in liver and spleen. Gentic factors, immunoglobulin deficiency, somatic mutation, viral infections and drugs, and failure of T-lymphocyte function, all probably play a part in breaking immunological tolerance and the development of AIHA.

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune / chemically induced
  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune / etiology
  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune / immunology*
  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune / surgery
  • Autoantibodies / analysis*
  • Cold Temperature
  • Erythrocytes / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin M / analysis
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / complications
  • Infections / complications
  • Lymphoma / complications
  • Methyldopa / adverse effects
  • Phagocytes / immunology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Thymectomy


  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Methyldopa