Does seronegative antiphospholipid syndrome really exist?

Autoimmun Rev. 2012 Jun;11(8):581-4. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2011.10.017. Epub 2011 Oct 22.


The diagnosis of seronegative (SN-) antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) has been suggested for patients with clinical manifestations indicative of APS but with persistently negative results in the commonly used assays to detect anti-cardiolipin (aCL) antibodies, anti-β2 Glycoprotein I antibodies (aβ2GPI), and lupus anticoagulant (LA). To date the best management of these patients is still unclear. New emerging anti-phospholipid (aPL) assays could improve our ability in diagnosing APS. However, the availability of aPL assays in routine laboratory practice is limited. In fact, even aβ2GPI is routinely tested in only a small number of laboratories, and other aPL, such as anti-prothrombin or anti-annexin antibodies, in only a few research laboratories. On the other hand transient or false negative aPL assay and other genetic or acquired pro-thrombotic conditions can further complicate this issue. This paper is focused on the arguments for and against the diagnosis of SN-APS and is aimed to help the clinician when approaching a patient with clinical manifestations consistent with APS diagnosis but with negative aPL using the commonly available tests.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid / immunology*
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / immunology
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine
  • Humans
  • Serologic Tests / methods
  • Serologic Tests / trends


  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid