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Autoimmune hemolytic anemia

Other Names for this Disease
  • Acquired autoimmune hemolytic anemia
  • Anemia hemolytic autoimmune
  • Familial auto-immune hemolytic anemia (subtype)
  • Idiopathic autoimmune hemolytic anemia
  • Immuno-hemolytic anemia
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Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) occurs when your immune system makes antibodies that attack your red blood cells. This causes a drop in the number of red blood cells, leading to hemolytic anemia. Symptoms may include unusual weakness and fatigue with tachycardia and breathing difficulties, jaundice, dark urine and/or splenomegaly. AIHA can be primary (idiopathic) or result from an underlying disease or medication. The condition may develop gradually or occur suddenly.[1][2] There are two main types of autoimmune hemolytic anemia: warm antibody hemolytic anemia and cold antibody hemolytic anemia.[2][3][4] Treatment may include corticosteroids such as prednisone, splenectomy, immunosuppressive drugs and/or blood transfusions.[3]
Last updated: 12/19/2012


  1. Idiopathic autoimmune hemolytic anemia. MedlinePlus. January 2010; Accessed 12/19/2012.
  2. Michel M. Autoimmune hemolytic anemia. Orphanet. August 2010; Accessed 12/19/2012.
  3. Lichtin AE. Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia. Merck Manual. June 2008; Accessed 12/19/2012.
  4. Types of Hemolytic Anemia. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). April 2011; Accessed 12/19/2012.
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Basic Information

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  • The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition. Click on the link to view the information.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Autoimmune hemolytic anemia. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.