Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA): Introduction

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Immune Hemolytic Anemias. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA): Introduction

Autoantibodies are immunoglobulins directed against self antigens. Most autoantibodies react with high-incidence red cell antigens. Recognition of these antibodies is important during serologic testing.
Autoantibodies may complicate routine testing by causing ABO and Rh typing problems.
AIHA is usually confirmed by a positive direct antiglobulin test (DAT) and demonstration of the autoantibody in the plasma or eluate.
AIHA is classified as either cold-reactive or warm-reactive. The table above lists different types of AIHA and the antibody classes involved. These will be discussed in detail on the following pages.
Autoimmune Hemolytic AnemiaAntibody TypeComplement Association
Warm Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (WAIHA)IgG autoantibodiesSometimes
Cold Agglutinin Syndrome (CAS)IgM autoantibodiesYes
Mixed-Type (Serological features of both warm and cold autoantibodies)Both IgM and IgG autoantibodies

Paroxysmal Cold Hemoglobinuria (PCH)IgG biphasic hemolysinYes