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J Lab Physicians. 2010 Jan;2(1):17-20. doi: 10.4103/0974-2727.66703.

Clinical patterns and hematological spectrum in autoimmune hemolytic anemia.

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Department of Clinical Pathology, St John's Medical College Hospital, Bangalore, India.



Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) results from red cell destruction due to circulating autoantibodies against red cell membrane antigens. They are classified etiologically into primary and secondary AIHAs. A positive direct antiglobulin test (DAT) is the hallmark of diagnosis for AIHA.


One hundred and seventy-five AIHA cases diagnosed based on positive DAT were included in the study. The cases showed a female predilection (M: F = 1:2.2) and a peak incidence in the third decade. Forty cases were found to be due to primary AIHA, while a majority (n = 135) had AIHA secondary to other causes. The primary AIHA cases had severe anemia at presentation (65%) and more often showed a blood picture indicative of hemolysis (48%). Forty-five percent of primary AIHAs showed positivity for both DAT and indirect antiglobulin test (IAT). Connective tissue disorders were the most common associated etiology in secondary AIH A0 (n = 63).


AIHAs have a female predilection and commonly present with symptoms of anemia. AIHA secondary to other diseases (especially connective tissue disorders) is more common. Primary AIHAs presented with severe anemia and laboratory evidence of marked hemolysis.


Autoimmune hemolytic anemia; antiglobulin test; primary; secondary

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