Autoimmune hemolytic anemia

Am J Hematol. 2002 Apr;69(4):258-71. doi: 10.1002/ajh.10062.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune* / classification
  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune* / diagnosis
  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune* / epidemiology
  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune* / etiology
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Cold Temperature
  • Erythrocytes / immunology
  • Hemoglobinuria, Paroxysmal
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans


  • Autoantibodies