Anemia, Hemolytic, Acquired Autoimmune
National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
It is possible that the main title of the report Anemia, Hemolytic, Acquired Autoimmune is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
Synonyms Back to top
- Immune Hemolytic Anemia
- Anemia, Idiopathic Autoimmune Hemolytic
- Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
- Idiopathic Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
Disorder Subdivisions Back to top
- Anemia, Warm Antibody Hemolytic
- Anemia, Cold Antibody Hemolytic
General Discussion Back to top
The autoimmune hemolytic anemias are rare disorders characterized by the premature destruction (hemolysis) of red blood cells at a rate faster than they can be replaced. Acquired hemolytic anemias are non-genetic in origin. Idiopathic acquired autoimmune diseases occur when the body's natural defenses against invading organisms (e.g., lymphocytes, antibodies) destroy its own healthy tissues for no known reason. Normally, the red blood cells (erythrocytes) have a life span of approximately 120 days before being removed by the spleen. The severity of this type of anemia is determined by the life span of the red blood cell and by the rate at which these cells are replaced by the bone marrow.
Clinicians are able to determine quite accurately (Coombs test) whether or not red blood cells are carrying with them chemicals that are being incorrectly recognized as an "enemy" and therefore subject to autoimmune destruction.
Acquired autoimmune hemolytic anemia is a disorder that occurs in individuals who previously had a normal red blood cell system. The disorder may occur as the result of, or in conjunction with, some other medical condition, in which case it is "secondary" to another disorder. Less commonly, it occurs alone without a precipitating factor.
Acquired autoimmune hemolytic anemia occurs in different forms, including warm antibody hemolytic anemia and cold antibody hemolytic anemia.
In warm antibody hemolytic anemia, the self-generated antibodies (autoantibodies) attach themselves and cause the destruction of the red blood cells at temperatures above normal body temperature. In contrast, in the cases of cold antibody hemolytic anemia, the self-generated antibodies (autoantibodies) attach themselves and cause the destruction of the red blood cells at temperatures below normal body temperature. (For more information on this disorder, choose "Warm Antibody Hemolytic Anemia" and/or Cold Antibody Hemolytic Anemia as your search term in the Rare Disease Database.)
Resources Back to top
March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
22100 Gratiot Ave.
East Detroit, MI 48021
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
P.O. Box 30105
Bethesda, MD 20892-0105
MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network
150 Custer Court
Green Bay, WI 54301-1243
Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
PO Box 241956
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Autoimmune Information Network, Inc
PO Box 4121
Brick, NJ 08723
European Society for Immunodeficiencies
1-3 rue de Chantepoulet
Geneva, CH 1211
Tel: +31 73-6992965
Fax: +41 22 906 91 40
Cold Agglutinin Disease E-Support
c/o Betty Usdan
146 Greens Rd.
Hollywood, FL 33021
For a Complete Report Back to top
This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".
The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.
It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report
This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.
For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated: 1/12/2008
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