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Management of antiphospholipid syndrome in pregnant and postpartum women

Charles J Lockwood, MD, MHCM
Michael D Lockshin, MD, MACR
Section Editors
Vincenzo Berghella, MD
David S Pisetsky, MD, PhD
Deputy Editors
Vanessa A Barss, MD, FACOG
Monica Ramirez Curtis, MD, MPH


Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is a systemic autoimmune disorder characterized by venous or arterial thrombosis and/or pregnancy loss in the presence of persistent antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL). It can occur as a primary condition, or it can occur with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or another systemic autoimmune disease. Patients with SLE frequently have aPL, whereas the development of APS is much less common. aPL can also be found in healthy individuals. The main types of aPL of concern during pregnancy are lupus anticoagulant (LA), anticardiolipin antibodies (aCL), and anti-beta-2-glycoprotein-1 antibodies.

This topic will discuss the potential impact of APS and aPL alone during pregnancy, as well as the management of APS during pregnancy and postpartum. The medical management of women with non-obstetric APS and prenatal care of women with SLE with or without anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB antibodies are reviewed separately:

(See "Treatment of antiphospholipid syndrome".)

(See "Pregnancy in women with systemic lupus erythematosus".)

(See "Neonatal lupus: Management and outcomes", section on 'In utero management'.)

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Literature review current through: Sep 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 13, 2017.
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