Vasculitis associated with antiphospholipid syndrome

Semin Arthritis Rheum. 1995 Feb;24(4):273-81. doi: 10.1016/s0049-0172(95)80037-9.


Several syndromes involving antiphospholipid antibodies have been described in the literature. Although the varied clinical manifestations have been well delineated, the vascular pathophysiology in patients with these antibodies remains unclear. Vascular damage is often described as a vasculopathy; however, several case reports have described an associated vasculitis. We report two patients with manifestations of antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APLS) and concurrent vasculitis. The first patient, a 42-year-old man, presented with abdominal pain and fevers. The second patient, a 39-year-old man, presented with fever and testicular pain. Both were ultimately felt to have polyarteritis nodosa associated with APLS. Their complicated hospital courses and difficulties we encountered in diagnosing and treating them are discussed. The literature describing other cases of vasculitis associated with antiphospholipid antibody syndrome is reviewed. Whether the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies favors the development of vasculitis or vice versa is not clear. Further studies are needed to address this question and to determine optimal therapeutic regimens in these critically ill patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Vasculitis / etiology*