Antiphospholipid antibodies: predictive value of laboratory tests

Thromb Haemost. 1997 Jul;78(1):75-8.


aPL antibodies are a wide and heterogeneous family of autoantibodies, formerly believed to be directed at anionic phospholipids. In recent years they have been shown to be directed at plasma proteins bound to suitable (phospholipid) anionic surface: beta 2-GPI and prothrombin are the best known and characterized antigens, which are recognized by aCL antibodies and most Lupus Anticoagulants, respectively. The presence of these antibodies has been associated with arterial and venous thrombosis, recurrent miscarriages and thrombocytopenia in the so-called "Antiphospholipid Syndrome". Retrospective and "cross-sectional" studies have established the role of aCL antibodies and Lupus Anticoagulants as risk factors for both venous and arterial thrombosis, the most common clinical manifestations of APS. Prospective studies performed in different patients' populations have validated the association between aCL antibodies and Lupus Anticoagulants with venous and, possibly, arterial thrombosis. Along with the concept of the heterogenity of aPL antibodies there is the observation that among Lupus Anticoagulants aCL-type A, but not LA antibodies, appear to represent a risk factor for thrombosis. However, informations on the predictive value of the various laboratory tests with respect to thrombosis are still rather limited. It is, therefore, necessary to continue the development and standardization of assays that selectively identify aPL antibodies associated with an increased risk of thrombosis, in order to help the clinicians to establish the most appropriate therapeutic strategies for the prevention of the thromboembolic complication of APS.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid / blood*
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques
  • Humans
  • Lupus Coagulation Inhibitor / blood*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thrombophlebitis / diagnosis*
  • Thrombophlebitis / immunology
  • Thrombosis / diagnosis*
  • Thrombosis / immunology


  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid
  • Lupus Coagulation Inhibitor