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Idiopathic autoimmune hemolytic anemia

  • Alternative Names

    Autoimmune hemolytic anemia; Anemia - idiopathic autoimmune hemolytic


    Treatment

    The first therapy tried is usually a steroid medication, such as prednisone. If steroid medications do not improve the condition, removal of the spleen (splenectomy) may be considered.

    Therapy to suppress the immune system is usually given if the person does not respond to steroids and splenectomy. Medications such as azathioprine (Imuran), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), and rituximab (Rituxan) have been used.

    Blood transfusions are given with caution, because of the potential that blood may not be compatible and may cause further hemolysis.


    Support Groups


    Expectations (prognosis)

    Adults may have long-term disease that keeps returning. In children the anemia is usually short-lived.


    Complications
    • Infection (as a complication of treatment)
    • Severe anemia

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you notice symptoms of anemia.