Hypertension is a common manifestation of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). Antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) have been described in patients with hypertension secondary to renal artery stenosis (RAS). Twenty-six patients with RAS and 25 patients with severe essential hypertension (diastolic blood pressure > 110 mmHg or > or = 3 hypertensive drugs) were studied and compared to 61 age- and sex-matched healthy subjects. Serum samples were tested for lupus anticoagulant (LA), anticardiolipin (aCL) IgG and IgM, antiprothrombin (aPT) IgG and IgM, anti-beta2glycoprotein 1 (abeta2GP1) IgG and IgM. aPL were negative in all patients with RAS. Two patients with essential hypertension had positive aPL (8%) (LA in one patient confirmed in a second assay and abeta2GP1-IgG in the other patient confirmed one year later together with aCL IgG positivity). Among healthy subjects, one case (1.6%) was found to be positive for LA, aCL IgM, abeta2GP1 IgM, aPT IgG, aPT IgM. In conclusion, the association between RAS and aPL seems to be casual rather than an expression of an elective thrombotic localization ofAPS. The positive finding of aPL in 8% of patients with essential hypertension, a frequency higher than that of the control population, deserves further studies in larger series to better explore the relationship between aPL and hypertension.