Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.

Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Antiphospholipid syndrome


Other Names for this Disease
  • Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome
  • APS
  • Familial antiphospholipid syndrome
  • Hughes syndrome
  • Lupus anticoagulant, familial
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

Have there been any trials involving plasma exchange to treat antiphospholipid antibody syndrome? Have any benefits or pitfalls been identified?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is antiphospholipid syndrome?

Antiphospholipid syndrome is an autoimmune disorder. It is characterized by It is characterized by the presence in the blood of at least one type of an high levels of multiple different antibodies that are associated with clots in the arteries and veins. Symptoms vary and can include blood clots, miscarriage, rash, chronic headaches, dementia, and seizures.[1] Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS) occurs if the body's immune system makes antibodies (proteins) that attack phospholipids. Phospholipids are a type of fat found in all living cells and cell membranes, including blood cells and the lining of blood vessels. What causes the immune system to make antibodies against phospholipids isn't known. Most cases of antiphospholipid syndrome are sporadic, which means they occur in people with no history of the disorder in their family. Rarely, the condition has been reported to run in families; however, it does not have a clear pattern of inheritance. Multiple genetic and environmental factors likely play a part in determining the risk of developing antiphospholipid syndrome. The most commonly accepted explanation for the development of aPL is that they occur in susceptible individuals following incidental exposure to infectious agents. Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS) has no cure. However, medicines can help prevent complications. The goals of treatment are to prevent blood clots from forming and keep existing clots from getting larger.[2][3][4]
Last updated: 8/14/2015

Have there been any trials involving plasma exchange to treat antiphospholipid antibody syndrome?

As of this writing we have not been able to locate any trials which involve plasma exchange in the treatment of general antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. However, there are reports of the use of this treatment in individuals with catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome, a very rare complication encountered in a subset of patients with antiphospholipid antibody syndrome.[5][6][7] In these individuals, treatment with intensive anticoagulation (blood thinners), plasma exchange, and corticosteroids appears to be beneficial, although no controlled trials have been performed.[6]

You can access additional information about the use of plasma exchange in the treatment of catastrophic antiphospholipid antibody syndrome by visiting Pubmed, a searchable database of medical literature. You can access articles specific to this topic by clicking here.
Last updated: 2/13/2009

References
Other Names for this Disease
  • Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome
  • APS
  • Familial antiphospholipid syndrome
  • Hughes syndrome
  • Lupus anticoagulant, familial
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.