The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) has prepared the first set of treatment guidelines for antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), a rare systemic autoimmune disorder associated with blood clots that can be life-threatening.
Sometimes known as Hughes syndrome, there is little research on the condition and little agreement on its clinical criteria. As a result, treatment approaches may differ from doctor to doctor. APS can lead to stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, recurrent early miscarriages, premature birth due to eclampsia and late pregnancy losses.
Antiphospholipid (aPL) antibodies can manifest as one of three types: lupus anticoagulant, anticardiolipin antibodies or antibeta2 glycoprotein I antibodies. Identifying which type of aPL the patient has can help determine the risk of blood clots and the proper course of treatment.
“Clinical practice in APS is highly variable, in part because it is a rare disorder, and because knowledge about its diagnosis/classification, clinical spectrum and management is continuously advancing. There is a great heterogeneity among studies on the laboratory and clinical criteria used to define APS and the treatment approaches used over the past four decades. These factors make it often difficult to know the best approach to apply in daily practice,” wrote the authors who were led by Maria G Tektonidou, M.D., of Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. “The objective of this project was to develop evidence-based recommendations for the prevention and management of adult APS that will help guide practice and improve quality of care and patient outcomes.”
In this slideshow, we highlight the treatment recommendations.
Tektonidou M, Andreoli L, Limper M, et al. “EULAR recommendations for the management of antiphospholipid syndrome in adults.” Annals of Rheumatic Diseases. DOI:10.1136/annrheumdis-2019-215213