A case of catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome in an adolescent girl with parvovirus B19 infection

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2008 Jul;47(6):593-7. doi: 10.1177/0009922808315216.


Antiphospholipid syndrome is an autoimmune disease characterized by recurrent thrombosis and the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies. Clinical presentations are dependent on the affected vessels and organs. The most common presentation of antiphospholipid syndrome is arterial or venous thrombosis. An unusual presentation of the disease is characterized by microvascular thrombosis with multiorgan involvement, which is termed catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome. The diagnosis of catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome can be difficult because of the heterogeneity of the different clinical forms. Clinical manifestations of catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome are complex with multiple organ involvement, resulting in renal insufficiency, heart failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and liver involvement. Early diagnosis and aggressive therapies are essential in this condition because of the extremely high mortality rate. Herein, the case of a 14-year-old girl with catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome that was previously misdiagnosed as a vasculitis related to parvovirus B19 infection is presented.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / complications*
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Catastrophic Illness
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use
  • Methylprednisolone / administration & dosage
  • Methylprednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Multiple Organ Failure / etiology
  • Multiple Organ Failure / therapy
  • Parvoviridae Infections / complications*
  • Parvoviridae Infections / diagnosis*
  • Parvoviridae Infections / drug therapy
  • Parvovirus B19, Human*
  • Prednisolone / administration & dosage
  • Prednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Vasculitis / diagnosis


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Prednisolone
  • Methylprednisolone