Widespread cutaneous necrosis occurring in association with the antiphospholipid syndrome: a report of two cases

Br J Dermatol. 2000 Jun;142(6):1199-203. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2133.2000.03550.x.


The antiphospholipid syndrome is an acquired prothrombotic state where thrombosis and/or pregnancy loss is related to the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies. Cutaneous necrosis secondary to intravascular thrombosis of small dermal vessels is a recognized but rare association with antiphospholipid syndrome. We report two patients with high circulating levels of anticardiolipin antibodies who developed widespread cutaneous necrosis as the first clinical manifestation of the antiphospholipid syndrome. The exact mechanism by which antiphospholipid antibodies mediate thrombosis is uncertain; however, proposed mechanisms of activity include endothelial cell activation, altered endothelial production of prostacyclin, activation of platelets, and modulation of the protein C and S pathways.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Anticardiolipin / blood
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / complications*
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Necrosis
  • Skin / pathology*


  • Antibodies, Anticardiolipin