Penicillin-induced immunohemolytic anemia associated with circulating immune complexes

Am J Hematol. 1977;3:219-23. doi: 10.1002/ajh.2830030302.


Eleven days after administration of multiple penicillin analogs, a 55-year-old female developed a Coombs-positive hemolytic anemia. The patient's erythrocytes were coated with IgG, complement components (C4/C3) and her serum contained elevated 125I-Clq binding activity (a measure of the presence of immune complexes). Her serum, in the presence of fresh complement and penicillin, induced complement sensitization of normal erythrocytes. Immune complex-mediated complement activation and the haptene type of erythrocyte sensitization accounted for accelerated red blood cell destruction in this patient.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • ABO Blood-Group System
  • Anemia, Hemolytic / chemically induced*
  • Anemia, Hemolytic / complications
  • Coombs Test
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immune Complex Diseases / complications*
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxacillin / adverse effects
  • Penicillins / adverse effects*


  • ABO Blood-Group System
  • Penicillins
  • Oxacillin