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Acquired Hemophilia

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.


It is possible that the main title of the report Acquired Hemophilia is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • acquired hemophilia A (AHA)
  • acquired hemophilia B (AHB)

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion


Acquired hemophilia is a rare autoimmune disorder characterized by bleeding that occurs in patients with a personal and family history negative for hemorrhages. Autoimmune disorders occur when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells or tissue. In acquired hemophilia, the body produces antibodies (known as inhibitors) that attack clotting factors, most often factor VIII. Clotting factors are specialized proteins required for the blood to clot normally. Consequently, affected individuals develop complications associated with abnormal, uncontrolled bleeding into the muscles, skin and soft tissue and during surgery or following trauma. Specific symptoms can include nosebleeds (epistaxis), bruising throughout the body, solid swellings of congealed blood (hematomas), blood in the urine (hematuria) and gastrointestinal or urogenital bleeding. Acquired hemophilia can potentially cause severe, life-threatening bleeding complications in severe cases. In approximately 50% of cases, there is an identifiable underlying clinical condition; in the other 50% no cause is known (idiopathic).


Acquired hemophilia is different from congenital hemophilia, a group of rare genetic disorders caused by congenital deficiency of certain clotting factors. The main form of hemophilia is hemophilia A (classic hemophilia), which is an X-linked disorder that fully affects males only. It is caused by deficiency or inactivation of factor VIII, the same clotting factor that is affected in most cases of acquired hemophilia. Although both disorders involve deficiency of the same clotting factor, the bleeding pattern is quite different. The reason the bleeding patterns differ between these disorders is not fully understood.


National Hemophilia Foundation

116 West 32nd Street, 11th Floor

New York, NY 10001


Tel: (212)328-3700

Fax: (212)328-3777

Tel: (800)424-2634



Canadian Hemophilia Society

400-1255 University Street


Quebec, H3B 3B6


Tel: 5148480503

Fax: 5148489661

Tel: 8006682686



NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

P.O. Box 30105

Bethesda, MD 20892-0105

Tel: (301)592-8573

Fax: (301)251-1223



World Federation of Hemophilia

1425 René Lévesque Blvd. W. Suite 1010


Quebec, H3G 1T7


Tel: 5148757944

Fax: 5148758916



Children's Cancer & Blood Foundation

333 East 38th Street, Suite 830

New York, NY 10016-2745

Tel: (212)297-4336

Fax: (212)297-4340



Hemophilia Federation of America

210 7th St. SE

Suite 200B

Washington, DC 20003


Tel: (202)675-6984

Fax: (202)675-6983

Tel: (800)230-9797



Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126

Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126

Tel: (301)251-4925

Fax: (301)251-4911

Tel: (888)205-2311

TDD: (888)205-3223


Irish Haemophilia Society

First Floor

Cathedral Court

New Street

Dublin, 7


Tel: 353016579900

Fax: 353016579901



For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated:  3/27/2012

Copyright  2012 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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