Antiphospholipid syndrome is a systemic autoimmune disorder. It is usually defined as the clinical complex of vascular occlusion and ischaemic events occurring in patients who have circulating antiphospholipid antibodies.
Patients have circulating antiphospholipid antibodies cross-react with cell membrane phospholipids. This results in a hypercoagulable state leading to vascular thrombosis. It can affect multiple organ systems:
- abdominal manifestations of antiphospholipid syndrome
- thoracic manifestations of antiphospholipid syndrome
- cerebral manifestations of antiphospholipid syndrome
Paradoxically, a patient's coagulation profile will show an elevated aPTT suggesting a propensity to bleeding, however this is not the case. Positive lupus anticoagulant, anticardiolipin antibodies, and anti-beta2-glycoprotein I antibodies are seen but are not specific for antiphospholipid syndrome 6.
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