Occlusive vasculopathy in systemic lupus erythematosus. Association with anticardiolipin antibody

Arch Intern Med. 1991 Feb;151(2):389-92.


Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and with antiphospholipid antibody are subject to sudden occlusion of multiple blood vessels. We describe two patients with systemic lupus erythematosus with acute, catastrophic, widespread non-inflammatory visceral vascular occlusions associated with high-titer antiphospholipid antibody. The histopathologic features clearly distinguished these patients from classic systemic lupus erythematosus vasculitis. We further suggest that, based on a probable pathogenesis related to the presence of antiphospholipid antibody, and based on the non-inflammatory vascular occlusion, steroids and other immunosuppressive medications are of limited value. Plasmapheresis along with anticoagulant therapy should be considered.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies / analysis
  • Cardiolipins / immunology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Thrombosis / etiology*
  • Thrombosis / immunology
  • Thrombosis / pathology
  • Vasculitis / pathology


  • Antibodies
  • Cardiolipins