Autoimmune hemolytic anemia

Autoimmune hemolytic anemia

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Autoimmune hemolytic anemia occurs when antibodies directed against the person's own red blood cells (RBCs) cause them to burst (lyse), leading to an insufficient number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells in the circulation. The lifetime of the RBCs is reduced from the normal 100–120 days to just a few days in serious cases. The intracellular components of the RBCs are released into the circulating blood and into tissues, leading to some of the characteristic symptoms of this condition. The antibodies are usually directed against high-incidence antigens, therefore they also commonly act on allogenic RBCs. AIHA is a relatively rare condition, affecting one to three people per 100,000 per year.

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