Medical Definition of Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome: An immune disorder characterized by the presence of abnormal antibodies in the blood associated with abnormal blood clotting, migraine headaches, recurrent pregnancy losses (repeat spontaneous abortions), and low blood platelet counts (thrombocytopenia).

The abnormal antibodies are directed against phospholipids. (Phospholipids are fats that contains phosphorous). APLS can occur by itself (primary) or be caused by an underlying condition (secondary), such as systemic lupus erythematosus. About a third of persons with primary APLS have heart valve abnormalities.

Antiphospholipid antibodies reduce the levels of annexin V, a protein that binds phospholipids and has potent 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 antibody syndrome.

CONTINUE SCROLLING OR CLICK HERE FOR RELATED ARTICLE
Reviewed on 12/4/2018

SLIDESHOW

Lupus Symptoms, Rash, and Treatment See Slideshow

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors