|Other encyclopedia topics:||A-Ag Ah-Ap Aq-Az B-Bk Bl-Bz C-Cg Ch-Co Cp-Cz D-Di Dj-Dz E-Ep Eq-Ez F G H-Hf Hg-Hz I-In Io-Iz J K L-Ln Lo-Lz M-Mf Mg-Mz N O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q R S-Sh Si-Sp Sq-Sz T-Tn To-Tz U V W X Y Z 0-9|
|Contents of this page:|
Alternative Names Return to topAutoimmune hemolytic anemia; Anemia - idiopathic autoimmune hemolytic
Definition Return to top
Idiopathic autoimmune hemolytic anemia is a drop in the number of red blood cells due to increased destruction by the body's defense (immune) system.
Causes Return to top
Idiopathic autoimmune hemolytic anemia is an acquired disease that occurs when antibodies form against a person's own red blood cells. In the idiopathic form of this disease, the cause is unknown.
Idiopathic autoimmune hemolytic anemia accounts for one-half of all immune hemolytic anemias.
There are other types of immune hemolytic anemias in which the cause may result from an underlying disease or medication. The disease may start quickly and be very serious.
Risk factors are not known.
Symptoms Return to top
Exams and Tests Return to top
Treatment Return to top
The first therapy tried is usually a steroid medication, such as prednisone. If steroid medications do not improve the condition, removal of the spleen (splenectomy) may be considered.
Immunosuppressive therapy is usually given if the person does not respond to steroids and splenectomy. Medications such as Azathioprine (Imuran), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), and rituximab (Rituxan) have been used.
Blood transfusions are given with caution, because of the potential that blood may not be compatible and may cause further hemolysis.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
Adults may have chronic, relapsing disease, but in children the anemia is usually short-lived.
Possible Complications Return to top
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your health care provider if you notice symptoms of anemia.
Prevention Return to top
There is no known prevention for idiopathic autoimmune hemolytic anemia, because the cause is unknown.
References Return to top
Schwartz RS. Autoimmune and intravascular hemolytic anemias. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 164.Update Date: 11/23/2008 Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.