What Is Antiphosopholipid Syndrome?


Quick Answer

Antiphosopholipid syndrome is a disorder where the patient's own immune system attacks and destroys normal proteins in his blood, states Mayo Clinic This disease can cause blood clots in the body and lead to pregnancy complications. There is no cure for antiphosopholipid syndrome.

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Signs of antiphosopholipid syndrome include deep vein and peripheral arterial thrombosis, explains Mayo Clinic. In deep vein thrombosis, blood clots form in the legs and are at risk of breaking off and traveling to the lungs. In peripheral arterial thrombosis, blood clots form in the arteries of the arms and legs. Blood clots may also form in bodily organs, such as the brain. A blood clot in the brain can lead to stroke, dementia, migraines and other types of headaches. Blood clots also damage the valves of the heart. Some people with antiphosopholipid syndrome develop a particular type of rash, or they have bleeds because of a low platelet count.

There are two main types of antiphosopholipid syndrome, according to Mayo Clinic. Primary antiphosopholipid syndrome develops without an underlying autoimmune disease or condition, while secondary antiphosopholipid syndrome is a complication or side effect of a disease such as lupus, infections or certain drugs. These conditions and drugs may cause a person's body to produce antibodies that attack the normal proteins in her body but may not inevitably lead to the syndrome. People may also have a genetic disposition toward having antiphosopholipid antibodies.

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