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Antiphospholipid syndrome



Antiphospholipid syndrome Definition


Antiphospholipid syndrome, simply called “APLS” or “APS”, is a disorder of coagulation, which causes pregnancy-related complications such as preeclampsia, miscarriage and preterm deliver. It also causes blood clots in both veins and arteries. The syndrome occurs because of the production of antibodies against phosphilipids. This disorder is characterized by antibodies against B2 glycoprotein I and cardiolipin. Antiphospholipid syndrome is usually seen in conjunction with other autoimmune-related diseases. In some cases, Antiphospholipid syndrome can lead to high risk of death and dramatic organ failure caused by generalized thrombosis.


Antiphospholipid syndrome Symptoms and Signs


Antiphospholipid syndrome could cause blood clots in any organ and pregnancy related complication in the second or third trimester. In Antiphospholipid syndrome patients, the most common symptom is deep vein thrombosis of the lower extremities. Stroke is the most common arterial event. Some patients with Antiphospholipid syndrome experience migraines and headaches. Most APS patients experience low platelet count, livedo reticularis and heart valve disease. In 10% of Antiphospholipid syndrome patients, symptoms of multiple sclerosis may be present.


Antiphospholipid syndrome Treatment


Antiphospholipid syndrome is treated by administering aspirin to inhibit the platelet activation. Some doctors recommend warfarin as anti-coagulant. Pregnant patients of APS require low-dose aspirin and low molecular weight heparin. Women with recurrent miscarriages are usually advised to take aspirin after missing a menstrual period.


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