The aim of this study was to examine whether the clinical features of antiphospholipid antibody syndrome are associated with anti-cardiolipin and anti-beta2 glycoprotein I antibodies in Indian patients with SLE. Seventy-six patients (71 females), who fulfilled 1982 ACR criteria for SLE, were prospectively studied for the clinical features of antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS), and their sera were analysed for the presence of IgG/IgM/IgA anti-cardiolipin antibodies (aCL) by an in-house ELISA and, in 65 of them, for the presence of IgG anti-beta2 glycoprotein I antibodies (anti-beta2 GPI) by a commercial kit. Thirty-nine (51%) patients were positive for aCL, all of which were positive for IgG aCL, either alone (79.6%) or along with IgM and/or IgA. Twenty-seven (69.3%) out of 39 aCL-positive and seven (26.9%) out of 26 aCL-negative sera were positive for IgG antibodies to beta2 GPI. There was a significant correlation (r = 0.66, P < 0.05) between the levels of aCL and anti-beta2 GPI antibodies. Forty-one patients had features of definite or suggestive APS. Thrombocytopenia, recurrent pregnancy loss and CNS manifestations (seizures eight, infarct one) were seen in 20, 13 and nine patients, respectively. Thrombosis of the peripheral vessels was seen in only one patient. Only the presence of seizures was significantly associated with the presence of aCL and anti-beta2 GPI antibodies (P < 0.05). The characteristic association of definite APS (recurrent pregnancy loss and arterial/venous thrombosis) was lacking.