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Asian J Transfus Sci. 2018 Jul-Dec;12(2):99-104. doi: 10.4103/ajts.AJTS_105_17.

Immunohematological and clinical characterizations of mixed autoimmune hemolytic anemia.

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Department of Transfusion Medicine, Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.



Patients with warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) may carry immunoglobulin (Ig) M antibodies that react at room temperature and are nonpathological, but few may have cold agglutinins that react at or above 30°C and are referred to as "mixed" AIHA (MAIHA). Here, we present our experience on characterizing MAIHA both clinically and serologically.


Out of 134 AIHA patients, 13 diagnosed as MAIHA were subjected to detailed immunohematological characterization. Most patients were severely anemic and required urgent transfusions. Resolution of blood group discrepancy, elution, Donath-Landsteiner test, and adsorption study were performed following established protocol. "Best match" blood units were selected and transfused to patients.


Eight of the 13 patients had severe hemolysis. The median age of patient was 37 years with a female preponderance and secondary MAIHA was observed in 8 (61.5%) patients. Blood group discrepancy was encountered in 4 (30.8%) patients. Multiple red cell bound autoantibodies and high titer serum-free IgM autoantibodies were detected in all samples. Twenty-nine units of "best match" packed red blood cells were transfused to 12 patients without any adverse reaction. Improvement in hematological and biochemical values was observed in all follow-up patients.


Patients with MAIHA often present with severe hemolysis necessitating blood transfusions. While red cells are coated with multiple autoantibodies, both warm reactive IgG and cold reactive IgM autoantibodies are present in the serum. These serological complexities not only render a crossmatch incompatibility but often lead to blood group discrepancy. "Best match" blood transfusion is always lifesaving.


Autoantibody; autoimmune hemolytic anemia; best match blood; direct antiglobulin test; mixed autoimmune hemolytic anemia

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