Viral infections and antiphospholipid antibodies

Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2002 Feb;31(4):256-63. doi: 10.1053/sarh.2002.28303.


Objective: To study the relationship between viral infections and the induction of antiphospholipid (aPL) antibodies.

Methods: We reviewed the medical literature from 1968 until 2000 using MEDLINE and the key words virus, infection, antiphospholipid, and anticardiolipin.

Results: Anticardiolipin antibodies and/or lupus anticoagulant were associated with a number of viral infections, including hepatitis C virus, human immunodeficiency virus, cytomegalovirus, varicella zoster, Epstein-Barr virus, adenovirus, and parvovirus B. In many instances, the presence of these antibodies was associated with thrombosis.

Conclusion: The clinical significance of finding aPL antibodies in patients with viral infections remains unknown. In some patients, these antibodies may be transient and disappear within 2 or 3 months. In other susceptible individuals, they may persist and raise the question of whether infections may trigger the development of aPL antibodies in autoimmune diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology
  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid / analysis*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / immunology
  • Hepatitis C / immunology
  • Herpes Zoster / immunology
  • Humans
  • Virus Diseases / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid