Antiphospholipid syndrome and the kidneys

Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Jun;35(6):360-7. doi: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2006.01.001.


Objectives: To study the relationship between antiphospholipid antibodies and kidney diseases.

Methods: We reviewed the medical literature from 1968 to 2005 using MEDLINE and the keywords antiphospholipid syndrome, anticardiolipin antibodies, lupus anticoagulant, hypertension, renal artery stenosis, renal vascular thrombosis, thrombotic microangiopathy, and glomerulonephritis.

Results: The renal manifestations of the antiphospholipid syndrome may result from thrombosis occurring at any location within the renal vasculature, that is, in the renal artery trunk or branches, intraparenchymal arteries and arterioles, glomerular capillaries, and the renal veins. The spectrum of these manifestations includes renal artery stenosis and/or malignant hypertension, renal infarction, renal vein thrombosis, thrombotic microangiopathy, increased allograft vascular thrombosis, and reduced survival of renal allografts. More recently nonthrombotic conditions like glomerulonephritis have also been reported.

Conclusion: The kidney appears to be a major target organ in both primary and secondary APS. Early detection of renal involvement may improve the prognosis of these patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid / blood
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / complications*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / blood
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Hypertension / immunology*
  • Kidney Diseases / blood
  • Kidney Diseases / etiology
  • Kidney Diseases / immunology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / immunology
  • Lupus Nephritis / blood
  • Lupus Nephritis / etiology
  • Lupus Nephritis / immunology
  • Renal Artery Obstruction / blood
  • Renal Artery Obstruction / etiology
  • Renal Artery Obstruction / immunology
  • Vascular Diseases / blood
  • Vascular Diseases / etiology
  • Vascular Diseases / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid