Anemia Druginduced Immune Hemolytic

A H Waters, Department of Haematology, St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, UK

Acquired hemolytic anemias may develop as the result of immunological reactions consequent to the administration of certain drugs. Clinically, they often closely mimic autoimmune hemolytic anemia of 'idiopathic' origin and for this reason a careful enquiry into the taking of drugs is a necessary part of the investigation of any patient suspected of having an immune hemolytic anemia.

It is common experience that a particular drug may cause hemolysis in one patient, thrombocytopenia in another, neutropenia in yet another, and sometimes combinations of these in the one patient. The drug-induced antibodies responsible for these immune cytopenias are cell specific. We are still at a loss to know why a particular drug binds to a particular cell in a particular patient.

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