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.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.