Lupus anticoagulant syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that can cause blood clotting. In lupus anticoagulant syndrome the immune system produces antibodies that attack plasma proteins in the blood. This autoimmune disease most commonly affects women comparing to men. Lupus anticoagulant syndrome leads to hypercoagulability and recurrent thrombosis. In women the syndrome is one of the leading causes of recurrent miscarriage.
Causes of Lupus Anticoagulant SyndromeLupus anticoagulant syndrome is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks its own cells when produces antibodies that may attack different body organs. Lupus anticoagulant syndrome is caused by production of antibodies against plasma proteins in the blood, which results in their destruction. This can cause high risk of clotting. Exact cause for this condition is unknown. Lupus anticoagulant syndrome is not necessarily related to autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus therefore the name of the syndrome is in fact misleading. The syndrome may also appear in people with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, Sjorgen’s syndrome, rheumatoid diseases, infections such as hepatitis and HIV, tumors and those who are taking certain medications. Since in this disease, antibodies act against phospholipids, substances in the lining of cells, the condition is also known as antiphospholipid syndrome.
Symptoms of Lupus Anticoagulant SyndromeLupus anticoagulant syndrome can cause different symptoms. Generally it causes blood clots in blood vessels in any part of the body and problems related to pregnancy. Most commonly the syndrome causes deep vein thrombosis in the legs that is due to affected peripheral venous system. Blood clots in the lungs are also common. This is known as pulmonary embolism and may lead to pulmonary hypertension. The syndrome may cause stroke as a result of arterial blood clot. Sinus thrombosis occurs when the central nervous system is affected by antiphospholipid syndrome. The condition may cause ocular changes like amaurosis and retinal thrombosis. A blood clot in the adrenal gland can cause adrenal infarction and hemorrhage while in musculoskeletal system it can result in avascular necrosis of the bone. In women lupus anticoagulant syndrome can cause recurrent miscarriages before 20th week of gestation, stillbirths, premature delivery and preeclampsia (high blood pressure in pregnancy). Sometimes the syndrome can result in mental retardation in infants. Lupus anticoagulant syndrome is associated with other symptoms too such as decrease in the platelet count (thrombocytopenia), heart valve disease, headaches, migraine, rash and oscillopsia.
Treatment of Lupus Anticoagulant SyndromeLupus anticoagulant syndrome is treated with low dose Aspirin to reduce blood clotting. Also, anticoagulant medications warfarin can be prescribed. Pregnant women with the syndrome are treated with low molecular weight heparin and low dose Aspirin.