Haemoglobinuria is a condition characterized by the presence of haemoglobin in the urine. Haemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. Normally, haemoglobin is not present in the urine, but in cases of haemolysis (breakdown of red blood cells) or other conditions that lead to the release of haemoglobin into the bloodstream, it can be excreted in the urine.

Haemoglobinuria can be caused by various factors including –

1. Haemolytic anaemia: A condition where red blood cells are prematurely destroyed, leading to an increase in free haemoglobin in the bloodstream.

2. Infection: Certain infections such as malaria or Clostridium perfringens can cause haemolysis and subsequent haemoglobinuria.

3. Autoimmune disorders: Conditions like lupus or autoimmune haemolytic anaemia can lead to the destruction of red blood cells and the release of haemoglobin.

4. Drug-induced haemolysis: Some medications can cause the destruction of red blood cells resulting in haemoglobinuria.

Symptoms of haemoglobinuria may include urine in dark colour (red or brown), fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath and jaundice. It is important to see a doctor if  suspect haemoglobinuria, as it can be a sign of an underlying condition that requires treatment.

Diagnosis of haemoglobinuria typically involves a urinalysis to detect the presence of haemoglobin. Further tests may be done to determine the underlying cause such as blood tests to check for haemolysis or autoimmune markers.

Treatment of haemoglobinuria aims to address the underlying cause. This may involve treating infections, managing autoimmune disorders or discontinuing medications that may be causing haemolysis. In severe cases, blood transfusions or other interventions may be necessary.

It is recommended to consult with a doctor for accurate diagnosis and appropriate management of haemoglobinuria.

Blog created by

Ms. Usha Sasi
Faculty Haematology