This article compares the manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in the presence and absence of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPLs), the hallmark autoantibodies of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). The combination of SLE and APS appears to be of greater concern than either entity alone. APS complicates SLE by adding a vaso-occlusive factor to the inflammatory component that adversely affects the prognosis of those who have lupus and aPLs. The increase in both morbidity and mortality when both are present has significant therapeutic implications. Anticoagulation may be a safer and more appropriate therapeutic option than instituting a regimen of corticosteroids and immunosuppressive agents with all their attendant adverse effects. It falls upon the physician to clearly define the disease entity and fully evaluate the disease process.