Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria Overview

What is paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria?
A person with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria has a rare disease where red blood cells break down earlier than normal. When red blood cells breakdown, it releases hemoglobin from the cells which can accumulate in the urine. The three main problems seen with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria are anemia, pancytopenia (all blood cells are low in number) and thrombosis (blood clot formation in the larger veins).

What are the symptoms of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria?
The symptoms of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria include abdominal pain, blood clots, back pain, easy bruising or bleeding, shortness of breath and headache.

How does the doctor treat paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria?
The treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria includes medications to help slow the breakdown of the red blood cells. Some medications may also be given to stimulate the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. Anticoagulants are often given to prevent blood clot formation in the larger veins. Medications may include: oxymetholone (Anadrol-50), stanozolol (Winstrol), danazol (Danocrine),antithymocyte globulin (Atgam), and eculizumab (Soliris).

Continue to Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria Symptoms

Last Updated: Sep 28, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria References
  1. Brodsky RA. Advances in the diagnosis and therapy of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria. Blood Rev. 2008 Mar;22(2):65-74. Epub 2007 Dec 3. [18063459]
  2. Ziakas PD, Poulou LS, Pomoni A. Thrombosis in paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria at a glance: a clinical review. Curr Vasc Pharmacol. 2008 Oct;6(4):347-53. [18855722]
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