The Antiphospholipid Syndrome is an autoimmune disease in which an antibody is made which is directed against the lining of blood vessels. There is an increased incidence of clotting of the blood in arteries and veins. Blocking of arteries(the blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart) may result in stroke(lack of circulation to the brain); loss of vision(lack of circulation to the eye); miscarriage(lack of circulation to the placenta); occasionally an artery of the arms legs or an internal organ may become blocked; blockage of a vein (blockage of a vein-(a blood vessels that return blood to the heart) may result in phlebitis. The danger of phlebitis is that a portion of the clot may break loose and travel to the lungs(Pulmonary Embolus).
This disease should be thought of when there is recurrent blood vessel blockage.
There are specific blood tests which aid in the diagnosis-the anticardiolipin antibody, beta 2 glycoprotein and lupus anticoagulant. The ANA(a test also seen in Lupus) may also be positive.
Treatment for people with recurrent serious blood vessel blockage is Coumadin (Warfarin), low dose aspirin and other anti-platelet medications.