This chapter reviews antiphospholipid antibody syndrome–its features, diagnosis, and therapy. Manifestations of APLA including stroke, venous thrombosis, thrombocytopenia, and pregnancy complications are discussed. APLA are antibodies directed against certain phospholipids. They are found in a variety of clinical situations. APLA are important to detect because in certain patients they are associated with a syndrome which includes a hypercoagulable state, thrombocytopenia, fetal loss, dementia, strokes, optic changes, Addisonõs disease, and skin rashes. The underlying mechanism leading to the clinical syndrome associated with APLA is still unknown. Perhaps the antibodies inhibit the function of proteins C or S, damage the endothelium, activate platelets, or inhibit prostacyclin. Despite several decades of research, the etiology of the thrombotic tendency associated with APLA remains unknown.
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