Satisfactory results have not yet been obtained in therapy for secondary prevention in ischemic stroke patients with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). We therefore compared single antiplatelet therapy and a combination of antiplatelet and anticoagulation therapy for secondary prevention in ischemic stroke patients with APS.The subjects were 20 ischemic stroke patients with antiphospholipid antibody, 13 with primary antiphospholipid syndrome and 7 with SLE-related antiphospholipid syndrome. Diagnosis of APS was based on the 2006 Sydney criteria. Eligible patients were randomly assigned to either single antiplatelet therapy (aspirin 100 mg) or a combination of antiplatelet and anticoagulation therapy (target INR: 2.0-3.0; mean 2.4+/-0.3) for the secondary prevention of stroke according to a double-blind protocol. There was no significant difference between the two groups in age, gender, NIH Stroke Scale on admission, mRS at discharge, or rate of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, or cardiac disease. We obtained Kaplan-Meier survival curves for each treatment. The primary outcome was the occurrence of stroke. The mean follow-up time was 3.9+/-2.0 years. The cumulative incidence of stroke in patients with single antiplatelet treatment was statistically significantly higher than that in patients receiving the combination of antiplatelet and anticoagulation therapy (log-rank test, p-value=0.026). The incidence of hemorrhagic complications was similar in the two groups. The recent APASS study did not show any difference in effectiveness for secondary prevention between single antiplatelet (aspirin) and single anticoagulant (warfarin) therapy. Our results indicate that combination therapy may be more effective in APS-related ischemic stroke.
Keywords: APS-related ischemic stroke; Kaplan-Meier survival curves.; antiphospholipid syndrome; combination therapy; single antiplatelet therapy.