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Autoimmune hemolytic anemia in children: Treatment and outcome

Russell E Ware, MD, PhD
Section Editor
Donald H Mahoney, Jr, MD
Deputy Editor
Carrie Armsby, MD, MPH


Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) is a collection of disorders characterized by the presence of autoantibodies that bind to the patient's own erythrocytes, leading to premature red cell destruction (ie, hemolysis) and, when the rate of hemolysis exceeds the ability of the bone marrow to replace the destroyed red cells, to anemia and its attendant signs and symptoms. AIHA is generally categorized as "warm" or "cold" based on the thermal reactivity of the autoantibodies (table 1) and is classified as primary (idiopathic) or secondary based on whether or not an underlying disease process is present (table 2).

The treatment and prognosis of AIHA in children are reviewed here. A general overview of hemolytic anemias in childhood is presented separately, as are other aspects related to AIHA, including pathophysiology, classification, clinical presentation, and diagnosis, and diagnosis and management of paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria:

(See "Overview of hemolytic anemias in children".)

(See "Autoimmune hemolytic anemia in children: Classification, clinical features, and diagnosis".)

(See "Pathogenesis of autoimmune hemolytic anemia: Warm agglutinins and drugs".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 02, 2016.
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