Diseases & Conditions


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Anemia, Hemolytic, Acquired Autoimmune


Synonyms of Anemia, Hemolytic, Acquired Autoimmune
  • Anemia, Idiopathic Autoimmune Hemolytic
  • Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
  • Idiopathic Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
  • Immune Hemolytic Anemia

Disorder Subdivisions

  • Anemia, Cold Antibody Hemolytic
  • Anemia, Warm Antibody Hemolytic


General Discussion
The autoimmune hemolytic anemias are rare disorders characterized by the premature destruction (hemolysis) of red blood cells at a rate faster than they can be replaced. Acquired hemolytic anemias are non-genetic in origin. Idiopathic acquired autoimmune diseases occur when the body's natural defenses against invading organisms (e.g., lymphocytes, antibodies) destroy its own healthy tissues for no known reason. Normally, the red blood cells (erythrocytes) have a life span of approximately 120 days before being removed by the spleen. The severity of this type of anemia is determined by the life span of the red blood cell and by the rate at which these cells are replaced by the bone marrow.

Clinicians are able to determine quite accurately (Coombs test) whether or not red blood cells are carrying with them chemicals that are being incorrectly recognized as an enemy and therefore subject to autoimmune destruction.

Acquired autoimmune hemolytic anemia is a disorder that occurs in individuals who previously had a normal red blood cell system. The disorder may occur as the result of, or in conjunction with, some other medical condition, in which case it is secondary to another disorder. Less commonly, it occurs alone without a precipitating factor.

Acquired autoimmune hemolytic anemia occurs in different forms, including warm antibody hemolytic anemia and cold antibody hemolytic anemia.

In warm antibody hemolytic anemia, the self-generated antibodies (autoantibodies) attach themselves and cause the destruction of the red blood cells at temperatures above normal body temperature. In contrast, in the cases of cold antibody hemolytic anemia, the self-generated antibodies (autoantibodies) attach themselves and cause the destruction of the red blood cells at temperatures below normal body temperature. (For more information on this disorder, choose Warm Antibody Hemolytic Anemia and/or Cold Antibody Hemolytic Anemia as your search term in the Rare Disease Database.)

Organizations related to Anemia, Hemolytic, Acquired Autoimmune
  • American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
    22100 Gratiot Avenue
    Eastpointe MI 48021
    Phone #: 586-776-3900
    800 #: 800-598-4668
    e-mail: aarda@aarda.org
    Home page: http://www.aarda.org/
  • AutoImmunity Community
    None
    None None None
    Phone #: (91-9) -552-9057
    800 #: N/A
    e-mail: bandrews@autoimmunitycommunity.org
    Home page: http://autoimmunitycommunity.org
  • Autoimmune Information Network, Inc
    PO Box 4121
    Brick NJ 08723
    Phone #: 732-664-9259
    800 #: N/A
    e-mail: autoimmunehelp@aol.com
    Home page: http://www.aininc.org
  • Cold Agglutinin Disease E-Support
    c/o Betty Usdan
    Hollywood FL 33021
    Phone #: 954-961-2703
    800 #: N/A
    e-mail: N/A
    Home page: http://www.coldagglutinindisease.org
  • European Society for Immunodeficiencies (ESID)
    c/o Dr. Esther de Vries
    Hertogenbosch None 5200 ME's
    Phone #: +31- 73--6992965
    800 #: N/A
    e-mail: info@esid.org
    Home page: http://www.esid.org
  • MUMS (Mothers United for Moral Support, Inc) National Parent-to-Parent Network
    150 Custer Court
    Green Bay WI 54301-1243
    Phone #: 920-336-5333
    800 #: 877-336-5333
    e-mail: mums@netnet.net
    Home page: http://www.netnet.net/mums/
  • Madisons Foundation
    PO Box 241956
    Los Angeles CA 90024
    Phone #: 310-264-0826
    800 #: N/A
    e-mail: getinfo@madisonsfoundation.org
    Home page: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org
  • March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
    1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
    White Plains NY 10605
    Phone #: 914-428-7100
    800 #: 888-663-4637
    e-mail: Askus@marchofdimes.com
    Home page: http://www.marchofdimes.com
  • NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Information Center
    P.O. Box 30105
    Bethesda MD 20824-0105
    Phone #: 301-592-8573
    800 #: --
    e-mail: nhlbiinfo@rover.nhlbi.nih.gov
    Home page: N/A



For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html