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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2013, Article ID 561852, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/561852
Review Article

Immunotherapy Treatments of Warm Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia

Department of Immunology, Zunyi Medical College, Zunyi, Guizhou 563003, China

Received 25 February 2013; Revised 31 July 2013; Accepted 13 August 2013

Academic Editor: Mark Yazer

Copyright © 2013 Bainan Liu and Wangang Gu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia (WAIHA) is one of four clinical types of autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA), with the characteristics of autoantibodies maximally active at body temperature. It produces a variable anemia—sometimes mild and sometimes severe. With respect to the absence or presence of an underlying condition, WAIHA is either idiopathic (primary) or secondary, which determines the treatment strategies in practice. Conventional treatments include immune suppression with corticosteroids and, in some cases, splenectomy. In recent years, the number of clinical studies with monoclonal antibodies and immunosuppressants in the treatment of WAIHA increased as the knowledge of autoimmunity mechanisms extended. This thread of developing new tools of treating WAIHA is well exemplified with the success in using anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, Rituximab. Following this success, other treatment methods based on the immune mechanisms of WAIHA have emerged. We reviewed these newly developed immunotherapy treatments here in order to provide the clinicians with more options in selecting the best therapy for patients with WAIHA, hoping to stimulate researchers to find more novel immunotherapy strategies.