Antiphospholipid syndrome which is also known as APS is an autoimmune disease which represents an acquired form of thrombophilia. The etiology of APS remains unknown. This disorder occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks some of the normal human proteins and manifests itself as recurrent arterial or venous thrombosis and it could emerge after abortions or in recurrent pregnancy loss. In APS, the body produces the wrong antibodies against phospholipid-binding proteins, that is present in the blood and plays an important role in coagulation. Antibodies are specific proteins that usually target and neutralize the body’s invaders, such as viruses and bacteria. When antibodies attack phospholipid-binding proteins, blood clots abnormally. Specifically, it could cause blood clots in veins or arteries leading to stroke and various pregnancy complications such as: endometrial death, miscarriage, preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction and prematurity. APS is divided into primary and secondary, which is associated with autoimmune diseases and more often with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), while antibodies against cardiolipin are detected in many other conditions (infections, malignancies, drugs, etc.). The symptoms of APS, in addition to arterial and/or venous thrombosis and pregnancy complications, are multisystemic and the differential diagnosis of the primary APS from the secondary, in the context of SLE, is of particular clinical interest and is subject of this literature review.
Part of the book: Inflammation in the 21st Century