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The Diagnosis of the Antiphospholipid Syndrome: An Update

Neha Dang, MD1, Ellis Doan, MD1, and Silvia S Pierangeli, PhD1,2

Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is an autoimmune disorder of recurrent thrombosis and/or pregnancy losses that is characterized by the presence of antiphospholipid (aPL) antibodies. It is a multisystem disorder and any organ or system in the body may be affected. For many patients the diagnosis is often delayed, sometimes for years, with consequent disability, loss of livelihood, inability to start a family, or possibly even death. The diagnosis of APS relies on two types of assay. The first involves the detection of antibodies (including anticardiolipin and anti- β 2 glycoprotein I in immunoassays). The second type evaluates the prolongation of PL-dependent coagulation by so-called lupus anticoagulants. In this article, the consensus criteria for the diagnosis of APS, which have been updated periodically over the past 15–20 years, along with the diagnostic assays used to reach such a diagnosis, are discussed. Int J Adv Rheumatol 2010;8(2):63–70.

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