Antiphospholipid Syndrome


Antiphospholipid syndrome is a disorder which runs in the immune system where the immune system produces antibodies against the normal proteins in the blood mistakenly. These are antiphospholipid antibodies produced in the immune system. This syndrome can cause serious types of complications during pregnancy resulting in stillbirth, miscarriage, etc. and even blood clots are formed in the arteries or veins. It can also form blood clots in legs and this condition is called deep vein thrombosis or DVT. The clots are also formed in the lungs or liver where the formation of clots decides the type of damage caused in the body like a clot in the brain can cause a stroke. This syndrome can occur at any age.

Causes

The body mistakenly produces antibodies against the proteins which is a form of fat found in the body further resulting in formation of clots. These proteins or antibodies attack the body invaders like the bacteria or virus in the body and when this abnormal phospholipid-binding proteins are attacked, clots are formed. The causes of antiphospholipid syndrome are unknown but there are certain factors which develops these antibodies ant not really the syndrome.

People suffering from infections like hepatitis C, syphilis, HIV infection and malaria, have a probability of antiphospholipid antibodies.

Taking certain medications like quinidine , high blood pressure medication like hydralazine can increase the risk of this syndrome to develop Genetic predispositions are a rare case as this not hereditary, but in some cases where a relative of the person are found to possess Antiphospholipid Syndrome can be infected with this disease

Signs and Symptoms

Simply the presence of presence of antiphospholipid antibodies doesn’t confirm the condition. Sometimes due to generalized thrombosis an organ failure may be caused. Some signs and symptoms are given below :

Arterial or venous blood clots, in the organs

Deep vein thrombosis low in nature

Stroke

In certain cases the mental retardation in newborns can occur.

Diagnosis

Repeated episodes of thrombosis or pregnancy loss where the health status is not satisfying the respective results, a blood test should be conducted to check abnormal clotting occurrences. Once the blood tests are conducted to check the type of antibodies to phospholipid-binding proteins like Beta-2 glycoprotein I (B2GPI), Lupus anticoagulant and Anti-

Cardiolipin and these should occur in the tests twice where the test should be conducted after 12 week gap.

Treatment 

The majority of patients who go through the treatment of Antiphospholipid Syndrome are found to live a happy and healthy life. However, there is no proper cure or treatment, but taking some medications can definitely control the formation of clots to a certain extent. To improve the prognosis of pregnancy and further condition of thrombosis anticoagulant medication like heparin is given to the patient.

Combined drugs of combined heparin and warfarin should be given where after some time, the doctor will ask to discontinue the use of heparin and keep the warfarin continued forever. During pregnancy warfarin will be discontinued as it can cause birth defects. Lower doses of aspirin may also be recommended by the doctor.