ANTIPHOSPHOLIPID SYNDROME - Overview, Facts, Types...
ANTIPHOSPHOLIPID SYNDROME

ANTIPHOSPHOLIPID SYNDROME

Antiphospholipid syndrome, also known as the Hughes Syndrome, takes place when a person’s immune system accidentally generates antibodies that increase the clotting of the blood due to its improper flow.

Antiphospholipid antibodies occur in 15-20% of cases of blood clots and in 33% of strokes that happen to people under 50 years of age. These antibodies are one of the primary causes of repetitive miscarriages and complications in pregnancy.

APS can also cause various health problems like stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism. This disease may also be fatal due to large blood clots or blood clots in the heart, lungs, or brain.

TYPES

Some problems that may stem from having APS are:

  • Heart Problems: This may happen when the heart valves thicken and fail to work properly. This case may also involve narrowing arteries when their walls get thicker and can cause angina, chest pain, or even heart attacks.
  • Decrease of Platelets: Platelets are particles in the blood that play an important role in controlling bleeding. People with the antiphospholipid syndrome often have low platelet count, causing the person to bruise easily or experience excessive bleeding.
  • Kidney Problems: Antiphospholipid syndrome can also cause the blood vessels to narrow, including those connected to the kidneys. This event may cause high blood pressure and poor kidney function.
  • Skin Problems: Some people who have antiphospholipid syndrome may develop spotted rashes with a lacy pattern. They often take place on the knees or arms and wrists, which is also known as livedo reticularis.
  • Infertility: APS may also cause problems that are related to pregnancy like miscarriages and pre-eclampsia, which may cause seizures in pregnant women.

 

SYMPTOMS

There are several signs and symptoms in this kind of condition. The signs and symptoms of APS may include the following:

  • Deep vein thrombosis that includes pain, swelling, and redness. It can be risky when it reaches the lungs.
  • Recurrent miscarriages or stillbirths
  • Stroke
  • Transient Ischemic Attack
  • Rashes
  • Chest pain and shortness of breath
  • Chronic headaches
  • Speech defect
  • Nausea

DIAGNOSIS

When a person starts to experience sudden nose or gum-bleeding, an unusually heavy menstrual period, dark-colored vomit and stool, and unknown stomachache, it is best to consult a physician for observation for APS.

The diagnosis of APS is made by testing blood samples if there are any blood clots and/or miscarriages that have taken place to observe the presence of antiphospholipid autoantibodies.

There are three types of blood tests for this, and it is important to have more than one of these tests to get a proper diagnosis. These tests are the anticardiolipin test, the lupus anticoagulant test, and the anti-beta-2-glycoprotein 1 test.

 

TREATMENT

Medication with anticoagulants is the most common treatment for APS. They help thin the blood to prevent blood clots and miscarriages. Treatment with these medications can also increase the chance for a successful pregnancy

Other cases may require a patient to undergo preventative (prophylaxis) therapy to prevent the formation of blood clots.

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