Vasculitis in the antiphospholipid syndrome. A cause of ischemia responding to corticosteroids

Arthritis Rheum. 1992 May;35(5):569-72. doi: 10.1002/art.1780350513.


A 63-year-old woman with atherosclerotic peripheral vascular disease and the lupus anticoagulant developed ischemia of the right lower extremity, requiring progressive amputations. Pathologic specimens revealed inflammatory vasculitis in multiple arteries. Her serum showed anticardiolipin antibodies in high titer. Treatment with high-dose corticosteroids reversed the ischemic process. In patients with antiphospholipid antibodies, thrombosis is the most common pathologic finding associated with cutaneous lesions and/or gangrene. Vasculitis, although uncommon, is known to occur and may respond to corticosteroid therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / complications*
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / drug therapy
  • Ischemia / etiology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Vasculitis / complications*


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones