For years, researchers have known that antiphospholipid antibodies (aPLs) can cause pregnancy loss and clotting, but they haven't known the true scope of the problem. Now a new study provides the first estimates of the prevalence of these antibodies in patients suffering from pregnancy loss, stroke, myocardial infarction, and deep vein thrombosis.
"Based on the available data, our best estimate is that around 10 to 15% of clotting disorders are associated with autoimmune antiphospholipid antibodies," said Doruk Erkan, M.D., an associate attending rheumatologist and clinician researcher at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, who is the senior researcher of the study.
The research will be presented on Nov. 13, at 3:15 p.m. ET, during the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ACR/ARHP), to be held Nov. 9-14, in Washington D.C.
In some individuals, aPLs do not cause any health problems, but in others, aPLs can trigger production of proteins that can cause inflammation and increase the risk for the formation of clots. This can cause pregnancy complications, strokes, heart attacks, and blood clots in other organs. Individuals who are aPL-positive and have either venous thrombosis, arterial thrombosis, or fetal loss are classified as having antiphospholipid syndrome (APS).
To get a grasp on the magnitude of the aPL problem, an international group of researchers searched PubMed to identify studies that involved patients with pregnancy loss, stroke, myocardial infarction or deep vein thrombosis, and that also tested patients for aPLs. They identified 108 papers and analyzed them for the type of outcome, the aPL tests used, the definition of positive aPL (low, medium, or high), confirmation of aPL, and the prevalence of positive aPL in the study population.
aPLs were found in 12% of individuals with a pregnancy loss, 14% of patients who had a st
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Hospital for Special Surgery