Evans syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which the body makes antibodies that destroy the red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells. This occurs when the immune system mistakenly targets these cells for destruction, and the spleen subsequently destroys them.
There are a number of symptoms found in Evan syndrome sufferers. The symptoms may reflect whichever blood levels are down. If the red blood cells are down, the problems complained of may be weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath and the usual things associated with anemia. With low platelets, people with Evans are susceptible to bleeding and major bruising from minor bumps and cuts. With low white blood cells, they have increased susceptibility to infections and difficulty in fighting these infections. Those affected with Evan syndrome may have problems with one, two or all three of their blood levels at one time.
The specific cause for Evans syndrome is unknown and it has been speculated that for every case, the cause may be different. There have been no genetic links identified.
Treatment of the disease varies and there has been no cure identified. Steroids are frequently used to help suppress the immune system. The prognosis with Evans syndrome is guarded. Some patients have episodes of major blood cell destruction followed by long remissions, while others have chronic problems with no remissions. It has been reported that patients with Evans syndrome have a greater tendency to develop other autoimmune disorders such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.