What is Anti-Phospholipid Syndrome?
Anti-phospholipid Syndrome or Anti-Phospholipid Antibody Syndrome (SAAF) is an autoimmune disorder in blood coagulation that causes thrombosis (abnormal coagulation) in arteries and veins, in addition to complications in pregnancy (repetitive abortions, high blood pressure and prematurity) of the baby). This syndrome occurs due to the production of antibodies against the body’s own proteins (called anti-phospholipid antibodies) that are measured in the blood through laboratory tests.
How is the diagnosis of Anti-phospholipid syndrome performed?
In order to make the correct diagnosis, there must be at least one clinical manifestation of thrombosis or complications related to pregnancy associated with the presence of autoantibodies detected in the blood through laboratory tests. The presence of antibodies in the blood alone, without the clinical manifestations of thrombosis or complications related to pregnancy, does not constitute “SAAF”.
What are the clinical manifestations of Anti-phospholipid syndrome?
The manifestation of thrombosis can occur in any vessel in the body. In the case of veins, lower limb thrombosis is the most common location. Clinically, we observed: pain, swelling and redness in the affected leg. In the case of thrombosis of the arterial system, the most common manifestation is stroke (stroke: stroke).
What is the Primary Anti-phospholipid Syndrome?
The term „Primary Anti-phospholipid Syndrome” is used when the manifestations of the syndrome occur independently, without the concomitance of other autoimmune diseases. Less frequently, patients with primary “APS” may develop systemic lupus erythematosus
What is Secondary Anti-phospholipid Syndrome?
The term „Secondary Anti-phospholipid Syndrome” is used when the manifestations of the syndrome occur concomitantly with other autoimmune diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
What is Catastrophic Anti-Phospholipid Syndrome?
Catastrophic Anti-phospholipid Syndrome is a very rare and severe form of “SAAF”. Multiple diffuse thrombosis occurs in small vessels, which may progress to multiple organ dysfunction.
How is the treatment of Anti-phospholipid Syndrome?
The treatment of this disease is done with platelet activation inhibitors and / or with anticoagulants. The goal of treatment is to prevent further episodes of thrombosis. The control of the use of anticoagulant is done through a laboratory test called INR. Generally, attempts are made to keep the INR between 2.0-3.0, but individual variations may be necessary. Controlling the use of this medication with INR is very important, as levels below 2.0 may not be protecting patients from further episodes of thrombosis. Conversely, INR levels greater than 3.0 can lead to bleeding. It is necessary to be aware of this, since many medications and even food can increase or decrease the INR, even if the patient is taking the same dosage of the medicine. During pregnancy, a different anticoagulant is used (subcutaneous), due to the teratogenicity of oral anticoagulants. Smoking and the use of estrogen-containing drugs are contraindicated.