Objective: To clarify the association of autoantibodies against prothrombin with the clinical manifestations of the antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) and with the presence of lupus anticoagulant (LAC).
Methods: We examined 265 patients who visited our autoimmune disease clinic. IgG and IgM antiprothrombin antibodies were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) as either antiphosphatidylserine-prothrombin complex (aPS/PT) antibodies or as antibodies against prothrombin coated on irradiated ELISA plates (as antigen) (aPT). IgG, IgM, and IgA anticardiolipin (aCL) antibodies and their beta2-glycoprotein I (beta2GPI) dependency were also evaluated by ELISA. LAC was tested by 3 different methods.
Results: The presence of aPS/PT, but not of aPT, significantly correlated with the clinical manifestations of APS (odds ratio [OR] 4.39, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 2.06-9.38), and aPS/PT antibodies were as specific as beta2GPI-dependent aCL for APS (93.1% for both). IgG aPS/PT strongly correlated with the presence of LAC as detected using the dilute Russell viper venom time test (OR 38.2, 95% CI 13.4-109.1).
Conclusion: Antiprothrombin antibodies are heterogeneous and their clinical relevance depends on the method of detection applied. Positive results on the aPS/PT test can serve as a marker of thrombotic events in patients with autoimmune diseases.