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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.