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Learn More About Antiphospholipid Antibodies & Syndrome

Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) is a life-threatening autoimmune disorder in which immune system mistakenly produces antibodies (antiphospholipid antibodies [aPL]) against certain normal proteins in the blood – causing mainly clots within arteries or veins as well as pregnancy complications, such as miscarriages and stillbirths.
 
Deep vein thrombosis of the legs is the most common type of blood clot to form in the veins, and a stroke is the most common type of blood clot to occur in the arteries. In addition, clots can form in any blood vessel including heart, kidneys, liver, spleen and extremities. Some of the other clinical problems related to aPL include livedo reticularis (lacey purple pattern on skin), heart valve disease, low platelet count, anemia, and kidney disease.
 
Antiphospholipid antibodies can occur in otherwise healthy individuals (Primary aPL/APS) or in patients with autoimmune disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
 
Antiphospholipid Syndrome is the leading cause of stroke among young people; also a significant percentage of patients with heart attacks, deep vein blood clots, and pregnancy losses have antiphospholipid antibodies.
 
The frequency of antiphospholipid antibodies in general population without other autoimmune diseases is estimated as*:
  • 14% for patients with stroke
  • 11% for patients with myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • 10% for patients with deep vein thrombosis
  • 9% for patients with pregnancy loss
* Andreoli L, Chighizola CB, Banzato A, Pons-Estel GJ, de Jesus GR, Erkan D; on behalf of APS ACTION. The estimated frequency of antiphospholipid antibodies in patients with pregnancy morbidity, stroke, myocardial infarction, and deep vein thrombosis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2013;65:1869-1873.
 
The Following Links Can Provide More Information on Antiphospholipid Antibodies and Antiphospholipid Syndrome (listed in alphabetical order):