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Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is an autoimmune disease characterized by the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies, such as lupus anticoagulant, anticardiolipin antibodies and anti-β2-glycoprotein 1 antibodies. APS can present with a variety of clinical phenotypes, including thrombosis in the veins, arteries and microvasculature as well as obstetrical complications. The pathophysiological hallmark is thrombosis, but other factors such as complement activation might be important. Prevention of thrombotic manifestations associated with APS includes lifestyle changes and, in individuals at high risk, low-dose aspirin. Prevention and treatment of thrombotic events are dependent mainly on the use of vitamin K antagonists. Immunosuppression and anticomplement therapy have been used anecdotally but have not been adequately tested. Pregnancy morbidity includes unexplained recurrent early miscarriage, fetal death and late obstetrical manifestation such as pre-eclampsia, premature birth or fetal growth restriction associated with placental insufficiency. Current treatment to prevent obstetrical morbidity is based on low-dose aspirin and/or low-molecular-weight heparin and has improved pregnancy outcomes to achieve successful live birth in >70% of pregnancies. Although hydroxychloroquine and pravastatin might further improve pregnancy outcomes, prospective clinical trials are required to confirm these findings.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Rev Dis Primers

Publication Date





Adult, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal, Antibodies, Antiphospholipid, Anticoagulants, Antiphospholipid Syndrome, Aspirin, Female, Humans, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Quality of Life, Risk Assessment, Thrombosis