Types of Hemolytic Anemia

Every disease in the world has various types and hemolytic anemia is no different. This blood related disease has various types and depending on these, the treatment is formulated. There are two categories that segregate the types of hemolytic anemia. They are inherited and acquired hemolytic anemia. Inherited hemolytic anemia means the disease passed on to you genetically by your parents, which means that you have it since birth as your parents or one of your parents had it. The acquired one simply means the opposite. You acquire hemolytic anemia due to some extricate reasons or external factors that may be known or unknown.

The various types of hemolytic anemia are listed below:

Inherited Hemolytic Anemias

Hemolytic anemia in which one or more genes that control the production of red blood cells are detected as faulty is Inherited Hemolytic Anemias. This leads to unhealthy blood cells that may perish well before their actual life.


This is a classic case of an inherited hemolytic anemia which comes to a child genetically. Hemoglobin is a major component of blood and there are various types of hemoglobin, and all types of it are really essential for good blood health. When the body fails to produce all these types of hemoglobin or fails to produce adequate quantity of them, a person suffers from Thalassemias.

Hereditary Spherocytosis:

In this condition, the red blood cells become spherical or circular in shape due to an outer membrane defect. This again shortens the lifespan of these kinds of cells.

Hereditary Elliptocytosis (Ovalocytosis):

It is related to the cell membrane and the shape of the red blood corpuscles. In this condition, the body produces elliptical or oval shaped red blood corpuscles which are not really acceptable for smooth flow of blood. Their flexibility too is so less that they can’t even be categorized as red blood corpuscles. Their lifespan too is really short making it a liability for the body.

Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) Deficiency:

Deficiency of G3PD, a fundamental enzyme in blood, causes blood cells to rupture when they come in proximity to other substances. This sudden shortening and bursting of blood cells is due to the lack of that enzyme. This occurs mainly due to excessive anti-malarial drugs and genetically it occurs more in African Americans.

Sickle cell anemia:

This is a very strange but dangerous condition of the inherited type in which the body produces abnormal hemoglobin. The shape of the hemoglobin in this condition is like a sickle or a crescent moon (semi-circle). The lifespan of these averages at 12 days which is horrendous for the blood. Also, in this condition, the bone marrow fails to generate adequate RBC to match the body demand for it.

Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency:

Red blood cells are strong and hold on for a longer period of time due to an enzyme called pyruvate. In this condition, this enzyme is provided in smaller quantities to the red blood cells. This cases the red blood cells to break down far sooner than their normal lifespan, causing a major lack of RBC in the blood and the body.

Acquired Hemolytic Anemia

In this condition, the red blood cells are in perfect shape and health but due to external factors like other disorders and diseases, the spleen is forced to destroy these cells and reduce their numbers.

Immune Hemolytic Anemia:

Hemolytic Anemia in which the body’s immune system destroys the red blood cells is called Immune Hemolytic Anemia. There are three types of it-


Drug induced hemolytic anemia

There are many medicines that we consume which cause side effects and unnecessary reactions. With certain medicines like penicillin, reactions do happen. One such reaction is when this penicillin binds to the surface of the red blood cells causing or forcing the creation of harmful and unnecessary anti-bodies. In maximum cases, analgesic and anti-inflammatory medicines cause this disease in after reacting with the blood and the body.


Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA)

In an unknown process, in AHIA, the immune system sends protein based antibodies to destroy the blood cells. Half of the cases of Hemolytic Anemia are of this type. Disease that increase risk of such disease are lupus, lymphocytic leukemia, blood cancers, Mycoplasma pneumonia, Hepatitis and Human Immuno Virus to name a few.


Alloimmune hemolytic anemia

It occurs when the body’s biological system destroys blood cells that you acquire from blood transfusion by creating antibodies. When a blood type which is different than yours is transfused into you, this process occurs. It occurs in women as well when they have Rh negative blood and the child she is bearing has Rh positive blood.

Mechanical Hemolytic Anemias

The cell membranes are ought to break down when they are subject to physical damage. One such example is hiking or rock climbing where excessive fatigue of limbs causes cell membranes to get damaged. Damage may occur due to a change in blood vessels of smaller size, valves and devices in body’s mechanism (pacemaker), valves used after open heart surgery and blood pressure increase in pregnant women.

Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria

PNH is a condition in which, due to the deficiency of certain proteins, the blood cells function or become faulty. These cells are destroyed really quickly by the body and this causes lots of blood clots and reduction in white blood corpuscles levels.


In many cases, dreadful diseases cause the red blood cells incessant damage that eventually causes hemolytic anemia. Some of those diseases are Malaria, snake bite, excessive toxic in body and also due to the lack of iron in the body.