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Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is an autoimmune disease characterized by a multitude of possible clinical, hematological and serological manifestations. These include venous and / or arterial thrombosis, (recurrent)miscarriages, premature births on the basis of (pre) eclampsia or of placental insufficiency.
In most patients with antiphospholipid - syndrome, certain so-called antiphospholipid antibodies (eg. lupus anticoagulant (LA), anti Cardiolipin antibodies, antibodies to ß2 Glycoprotein-I or antibodies to phosphatidylserine) can be detected.
Antiphospholipid antibodies probably induce thrombosis through theactivation of clotting and / or by impeding inhibiting clotting factors. Antiphospholipid antibodies (APA) occur in 90% of thrombosis patients and show increased frequency in genetically predisposed family members of the patients. Women represent 80% of cases.
APA are antibodies belonging to IgG and IgM, and, rarely, to the IgA isotype family, which are specific for clotting active phospholipids (Phosphatidylinositol, Phosphatidylserine, Phosphatidyletholamine and Cardiolipin). APAs do not bind directly to these phospholipids but rather to plasma proteins which are complexes with phospholipids. The plasma proteins include ß2-Glycoprotein I.