Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is an autoimmune disorder defined by the presence of characteristic clinical features and specified levels of circulating antiphospholipid antibodies (Box 1 and Box 2). Diagnosis requires that at least one clinical and one laboratory criterion are met. Because approximately 70% of individuals with APS are female(1), it is reasonably prevalent among women of reproductive age. Antiphospholipid antibodies are a diverse group of antibodies with specificity for binding to negatively charged phospholipids on cell surfaces. Despite the prevalence and clinical significance of APS, there is controversy about the indications for and types of antiphospholipid tests that should be performed in order to diagnose the condition. Much of the debate results from a lack of well-designed and controlled studies on the diagnosis and management of APS. The purpose of this document is to evaluate the data for diagnosis and treatment of APS.
Committee on Practice Bulletins—Obstetrics. This Practice Bulletin was developed by the Committee on Practice Bulletins—–Obstetrics with the assistance of D. Ware Branch, MD, Calla Holmgren, MD, and James D. Goldberg, MD. The information is designed to aid practitioners in making decisions about appropriate obstetric and gynecologic care. These guidelines should not be construed as dictating an exclusive course of treatment or procedure. Variations in practice may be warranted based on the needs of the individual patient, resources, and limitations unique to the institution or type of practice.
© 2012 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.