What is antiphospholipid syndrome?

Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2004 Dec;6(6):451-7. doi: 10.1007/s11926-004-0024-1.


The description of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is vascular thrombosis and/or pregnancy morbidity occurring in persons with antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL). However, because of an unclear etiopathogenesis and the heterogeneous nature of aPL and of aPL-related clinical manifestations, a single, unambiguous definition of APS does not exist. In this paper, we describe a structured approach to APS, discuss the controversies, and offer descriptions of APS that include: an autoimmune systemic disease with a spectrum of (mostly thrombotic) clinical manifestations, an overdiagnosed disease when aPL is present but has no proven direct causative role in the clinical manifestations, and a disease of controversies that requires clarification of etiology and mechanisms and risk-stratified controlled clinical studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome* / complications
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome* / etiology
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome* / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Thrombophilia / genetics