How are acquired hemolytic anemias differentiated from hereditary hemolytic anemias?

Updated: Nov 26, 2019
  • Author: Joseph E Maakaron, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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A confirmed positive Coombs test result can be extremely helpful in this group of disorders. It provides assurance that the hemolytic disorder is an acquired extracorpuscular defect and limits it to the group of disorders associated with autoimmune hemolytic anemia; these disorders include the following:

  • Drug-dependent antibodies (eg, to penicillin, quinidine, alpha methyldopa)

  • Coexistence of an underlying disease (eg, hematologic malignancies, lupus erythematosus, certain viral infections)

  • Idiopathic groups in which an underlying disease cannot be demonstrated

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