Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

HLA patterns in pernicious anaemia.

Br Med J 1977; 1 doi: (Published 26 March 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;1:798
  1. B Ungar,
  2. J D Mathews,
  3. B D Tait,
  4. D C Cowling


    The pattern of HLA antigens was studied in 127 patients with Addisonian pernicious anaemia. The pattern in the whole group of patients differed significantly from that in 586 controls. But different subgroups of the patients had different HLA antigens. Among 27 patients with anaemia associated with endocrine disease there was an increased frequency of HLA-B8, B18, and BW15. The remaining 100 patients, who did not have endocrine disease, showed increased frequencies of HLA-B7 and B12. The positive association with HLA-B12 among this subgroup was confined to 62 patients with severly impaired vitamin B12 absorption, including 13 patients with vitamin B12 neuromyelopathy, who had the highest frequencies of HLA-B7 and B12. The significant heterogeneity in HLA patterns in different clinical subgroups of these patients indicates genetic heterogeneity in pernicious anaemia and explains previous discrepancies in the associations between HLA antigens and pernicious anaemia.