[The antiphospholipid syndrome, an update]

J E Alonso Santor, L Inglada Galiana, G Pérez Paredes
Anales de Medicina Interna: Organo Oficial de la Sociedad Española de Medicina Interna 2007, 24 (5): 242-8
The antiphospholipid syndrome is an antibody mediated hypercoagulable state characterized by recurrent venous and arterial thromboembolic events. Several studies have determined that the frequency of antiphospholipid syndrome in patients presenting with a venous thromboembolic event is between 4% and 14%. Classical criteria include the presence of anticardiolipin antibody or lupus anticoagulant with typical complications of thrombosis or pregnancy loss. Other common associated manifestations include livedo reticularis, thrombocytopenia, valvular heart disease, and nephropathy with renal insufficiency, hypertension and proteinuria. Because of the high risk for recurrent thromboembolism in these patients, current recommendations suggest a longer, potentially lifelong, course of antithrombotic therapy following an initial event. For an initial venous thromboembolic event, a target INR of 2.0 to 3.0 is supported by two prospective, randomized clinical trials. In contrast, relatively limited data exist for an initial arterial thromboembolic event in patients who have the antiphospholipid syndrome, and therapeutic recommendations range from aspirin to warfarin with a high target INR. Recurrent thromboembolic events can be extremely difficult to treat, and some patients may benefit from the addition of immunosuppressive therapies. It is very important to evaluate in this setting additional, coincident prothrombotic risk factors.

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