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Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome - Symptoms and Treatment
Antiphospholipid syndrome is a disorder in which your immune system mistakenly produces antibodies to certain proteins in your blood. The syndrome occurs due to the autoimmune production of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL). Antiphospholipid Syndrome is a rare autoimmune disorder characterized by recurring blood clots that usually appear before 45 years of age. It may also be associated with repeated spontaneous abortions for no apparent reason in young women. There may be a family history of blood clotting disorders in some cases. Patients with these antibodies may experience blood clots, including heart attacks and strokes, and miscarriages. APS may occur in people with systemic lupus erythematosus, other autoimmune diseases, or in otherwise healthy individuals. It is important to note that antiphospholipid antibodies can also be found in the blood of individuals without any disease process. In fact, antiphospholipid antibodies have been reported in approximately 2 percent of the normal population. Harmless antiphospholipid antibodies can be detected in the blood for a brief period occasionally in association with a wide variety of conditions, including bacterial, viral ( hepatitis , HIV ), and parasite ( malaria ) infections. These illnesses include abnormal clotting ( thrombosis ) of arteries ( stroke , infarction ) and/or veins ( phlebitis ), premature miscarriages (spontaneous abortions), abnormally low blood platelet counts (thrombocytopenia), purplish mottling discoloration of the skin ( livedo reticularis ), migraine headaches , and a rare form of inflammation of the nervous tissue of the brain or spinal cord, called transverse myelitis.
Antiphospholipid syndrome is a disorder of coagulation , which causes blood clots ( thrombosis ) in both arteries and veins , as well as pregnancy-related complications such as miscarriage , preterm delivery, or severe preeclampsia . Antiphospholipid syndrome is also called the phospholipid antibody syndrome. Antiphospholipid syndrome has been referred to as Hughes syndrome in honor of the doctor who first described it. Antiphospholipid syndrome may cause clots to form in the large veins of your legs, and sometimes your arms, a condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Besides pain and swelling in the affected limb, thrombosis carries a risk of the clot breaking off and traveling to your lungs, where it can obstruct blood flow. For instance, impaired blood flow to your brain can lead to stroke. Impaired blood flow to your kidneys can cause kidney failure.
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