What is Antiphospholipid Syndrome?
APS is an autoimmune disease which can cause frequent clotting in arteries and veins and/or miscarriages. The clotting results from the presence of proteins in the blood called anti-phospholipid autoantibodies (commonly called aPL) formed against the person’s own tissues. These autoantibodies interfere with coagulation, leading to increased clot formation or thrombosis (in which blood flow stops due to a clot). It is a hypercoagulable state and requires lifelong treatment.
Other Names of APS
- Hughes Syndrome
- Anticardiolipin Syndrome
- Lupus Anticoagulant Syndrome
- Beta2Glycoprotien Syndrome
- Sticky Blood
- LA Syndrome
WHO GETS APS?
APS affects women five times more commonly than men. It is typically diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 40. While up to 40% of patients with SLE will test positive for the anti-phospholipid autoantibodies, only half will develop thrombosis and/or experience miscarriages.
Signs and Symptoms of APS?
Blood clots and as a result heart attacks, strokes, Pulmonary Embolism, DVTs and Miscarriages, are all common Clinical symptoms of APS. Most of the time APS is diagnosed after a presenting clotting event or after a miscarriage. Not all people who have APS are women though.
What laboratory tests can support the diagnosis of antiphospholipid syndrome?
Patients with the antiphospholipid syndrome can have a variety of antibodies to molecules called phospholipids in their blood. These antibodies include DVRL/RPR (a syphilis test that can be falsely positive in these patients), lupus anticoagulant, prolonged PTT, beta 2 glycoprotein I antibodies and anticardiolipin antibody.
What is the difference between Primary and Secondary Antiphospholipid Syndrome?
Primary APS refers to the syndrome when it occurs in a person on its own. Secondary APS refers to the syndrome when it occurs in addition to other autoimmune conditions such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
More official Links and information on APS