Autoimmune hemolytic anemia

Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2018 Nov 30;2018(1):382-389. doi: 10.1182/asheducation-2018.1.382.


The diagnosis of autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) can be made with a stepwise approach that aims to identify laboratory and clinical evidence of hemolysis and then determine the immune nature of hemolysis with the direct anti-globulin test. Once alternative causes for these findings have been excluded, AIHA is established, and the clinician must search for secondary causes, as well as identify the type of AIHA. Rituximab is now the preferred second-line treatment for primary warm AIHA and first-line treatment for primary cold agglutinin disease (CAD), either as monotherapy or combined with bendamustine. Complement inhibitors have shown utility in stabilizing AIHA patients with acute severe hemolysis. Future prospects are discussed and include the C1s inhibitor BIVV009 (sutimlimab) that is now entering phase 3 studies for CAD.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune / blood
  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune / diagnosis*
  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune / drug therapy*
  • Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic
  • Complement Inactivating Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Rituximab / therapeutic use*


  • Complement Inactivating Agents
  • Rituximab