Antiphospholipid Syndrome - Cause

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What causes and risk factors of antiphospholipid syndrome?

The cause of antiphospholipid syndrome is not completely known. Antiphospholipid antibodies reduce the levels of annexin V, a protein that binds phospholipids and has potent clot-blocking (anticoagulant) activity. The reduction of annexin V levels is thought to be a possible mechanism underlying the increased tendency of blood to clot and the propensity to pregnancy loss characteristic of the antiphospholipid syndrome. Certain genes may be risk factors for the development of antiphospholipid syndrome.

Antiphospholipid antibodies, such as anticardiolipin, have also been associated with decreased levels of prostacyclin, a chemical that prevents the clumping together of normal blood clotting elements called platelets.

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Comment from: alice, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 14

I was diagnosed with lupus 25 years ago after I suffered a stroke and at the time I was pregnant. After 4 stillbirths all at 7 months gestation 1 live baby was born at 8 months gestation. My last pregnancy I was hospitalized at 2 months gestation and at 7 months sure enough trouble started (blood clots filling the umbilical cord). Thanks to Doppler studies they did at the hospital, decided to perform a Caesarian section at 28 weeks, and with great relief I now have 2 live children. I have also been diagnosed with antiphospholipid syndrome. I have been taking warfarin for 25 years and for life, whilst pregnant I was on daily heparin injections.

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Comment from: mozelle, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 14

At age 63 I had DVT (deep vein thrombosis) in popliteal vein after fracture and in cast for 6 weeks. Doctor attributed it to immobility. Fourteen years later I developed plantar fasciitis, and orthopedist also made me see a vascular doctor. I was diagnosed with 3 DVTs at the same time in 3 gastrocnemius veins. I was treated with Lovenox and Coumadin and then diagnosed by hematologist after extensive blood tests with Factor V Leiden, and antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)/Hughes syndrome. I have a history of 40 years of migraine headaches, had miscarriage, minor heart valve problem, and a variety of other things that I think are related to this syndrome. Amazing that I was diagnosed so late in life, and that I survived what my hematologist described as 'I have been getting blood clots my whole life'. I am now on warfarin for life and under care of hematologist who specializes in APS.

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