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This study describes the development of autoimmune thrombocytopenia followed by autoimmune haemolytic anaemia in a Negro woman with measles. An IgM platelet autoantibody was detected using a fluorescent labelled antiglobulin technique. The thrombocytopenia resolved spontaneously, although the platelet autoantibody persisted and platelet survival remained shortened, suggesting a compensated thrombocytolytic state. An IgG granulocyte autoantibody was present transiently although the patient was never neutropenic. The haemolytic anaemia was due to an IgM cold autoantibody (anti-I), which was active up to 30 degrees C, and an IgG warm autoantibody, which was detectable only when she was severely anaemic. After an initial blood transfusion, the anaemia resolved and the red cell autoantibodies disappeared. The platelet, granulocyte and red cell autoantibodies were cell-specific and not a single cross-reacting antibody.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Lab Haematol

Publication Date





219 - 228


Adult, Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoantibodies, Blood Platelets, Blood Transfusion, Erythrocytes, Female, Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate, Fluoresceins, Granulocytes, Humans, Immunoglobulin M, Measles, Neutrophils, Thiocyanates, Thrombocytopenia