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Clinical manifestations of antiphospholipid syndrome

Doruk Erkan, MD, MPH
Stéphane Zuily, MD, MPH, PhD
Section Editor
David S Pisetsky, MD, PhD
Deputy Editors
Monica Ramirez Curtis, MD, MPH
Jennifer S Tirnauer, MD


Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is an autoimmune multisystem disorder characterized by arterial, venous, or small vessel thromboembolic events and/or pregnancy morbidity in the presence of persistent antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) [1]. aPLs are a heterogenous group of autoantibodies which are directed against phospholipid-binding proteins.

APS occurs as a primary condition or in the setting of an underlying systemic autoimmune disease, particularly systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

The clinical manifestations of APS will be reviewed here. The pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of this disorder are presented separately. (See "Pathogenesis of antiphospholipid syndrome" and "Diagnosis of antiphospholipid syndrome" and "Treatment of antiphospholipid syndrome".)


The three major antiphospholipid antibody (aPL) tests that are recognized by international classification criteria for antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) (table 1) are as follows:

Anticardiolipin antibodies (aCL) immunoglobulin G (IgG) and/or IgM enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Jun 3, 2016.
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