Hemolytic Anemia – Causes, Types, Symptoms, Tests, Treatment, Complications

The condition in which there are not sufficient red blood cells in the blood of a human due to the premature destruction of red blood cells is known as Hemolytic anemia. There are several types of Hemolytic anemia which are described individually. Hemolytic anemia can be caused due to various reasons which can be harmless or even life threatening. The general forms of Hemolytic anemia can either be inherited or acquired. The treatment Hemolytic anemia is totally based on the cause lead to this condition.

Causes of Hemolytic anemia

Hemolytic anemia is caused when the bone marrow is unable to make production of red blood cells to be replaced with the dead red blood cells which died due to premature destruction. Hemolytic anemia can either be caused by intrinsic factors (within blood) or extrinsic factors (outside blood). Intrinsic factors are usually present at the time of birth of child. Intrinsic factors include differences in the protein which is inside a red blood cell that are responsible for carrying oxygen and abnormalities in the proteins that are responsible to build red blood cells in the blood. The extrinsic factors include blood clotting in small blood vessels, infections, abnormal response from immune system and side effects from medications.

Types of Hemolytic anemia

The various types of Hemolytic anemia are Thalassemia, Malaria, Sickle cell anemia, Hemolytic anemia due to the deficiency of G6PD, blood transfusion of blood with a different blood group, secondary immune Hemolytic anemia.


The symptoms shown in a patient suffering from Hemolytic anemia are fever, fatigue, chills, dark urine, increased heart rate, jaundice, dark urine, enlarged spleen, pale skin and short breath.

Tests of Hemolytic anemia

There are specific tests conducted in order to identify the type of Hemolytic anemia a patient is suffering from.  These tests are conducted when Hemolytic anemia is confirmed or suspected. Serum LDH, free hemoglobin serum or urine, serum levels, blood platelet count, white blood count differential are some of the tests which can be recommended to a patient suffering from Hemolytic anemia.


As stated earlier the treatment of Hemolytic anemia totally depends on the cause and the type of Hemolytic anemia a patient is suffering from.  Iron replacement, folic supplements, corticosteroids may be recommended and in case of severe Hemolytic anemia a patient can undergo blood transfusion or the removal of spleen.


The complications of Hemolytic anemia also depend upon the cause and type. In severe Hemolytic anemia the risk of cardiovascular collapse is high and it can also worsen already existing cerebro-vascular disease, heart disease and lung disease.