Infectious complications in autoimmune hemolytic anemia

Juri Alessandro Giannotta, Bruno Fattizzo, Francesca Cavallaro, Wilma Barcellini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) may be frequently challenged by infectious compli-cations, mainly as a result of immunosuppressive treatments administered. Furthermore, infectious agents are known triggers of AIHA onset and relapse. Although being risk factors for mortality, infections are an underestimated issue in AIHA. This review will collect the available evidence on the frequency and type of infectious complications in AIHA, detailing the risk related to each treatment (i.e., steroids, rituximab, splenectomy, classic immunosuppressive agents, and new target drugs). Moreover, we will briefly discuss the infectious complications in AIHA secondary to other diseases that harbor an intrinsic infectious risk (e.g., primary immunodeficiencies, systemic autoimmune diseases, lymphoproliferative disorders, solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplants). Finally, viral and bacterial reactivations during immune suppressive therapies will be discussed, along with suggested screening and prophylactic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number164
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Prophylaxis
  • Rituximab
  • Steroids
  • Viral reactivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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