Introduction about lupus anticoagulant
What is lupus anticoagulant ? It’s an alternative name for APS or Anti Phospholipid Syndrome. Similar to lupus, it’s an autoimmune disease where your own body immune system are acting against you. APS however affects blood circulation system where the auto antibody formed by the defective cells will cause frequent inappropriate blood clotting which could be lethal as it can obstruct blood vessel. In this article we will discuss about this autoimmune disease, some history of it, how it diagnosed and how it treated. We may also pay visit on general lupus as both disease are related. People who got generic lupus may also at risk of developing anti coagulant lupus as well.
Lupus Anticoagulant Discovery
The anti coagulant lupus was discovered in the mid of the 20th century, exactly at 1947. The disease was first discovered and described by famous United States hematology expert Carrol Lockard Conley. The discovery was included in his papers about several blood related diseases and defects. More throrugh research however was done in 1983 when London medical team led by doctor Hughes identified the distinct feature of the disease. His name were later used as alternate name, Hughes syndrome to call the APS.
Lupus Anticoagulant Symptoms and Diagnosis
In order to understand further about APS, in this section we will further separate the subjects into several smaller topics. First we will intriduce some alternate name for the lupus anticoagulant.
Aliases of lupus anticoagulant
The APS also known with several alternating name which may be confusing to general people. The syndrome’s alternative names other than APS or Lupus anticoagulant are :
- Primary Anti Phospholipid Syndrome (PAPS)
- Anti Phospholipid Lupus Anticoagulant Syndrome (APLAS)
- Sticky blood
- Anti Cardiolipin Antibody Syndrome (ACAS)
- Hughes syndrome to honor the British doctor that led the London medical team who identified the disease in 1983
Types of Anti Phospholipid Syndrome
There currently two major types of Anti Phospholipid Syndrome. They’re categorized based on whether the patient have another accompanying autoimmune disease or not.
Primary APS :
APS patient is classified to have primary APS if the individual happens to have no record or case of any other autoimmune disease. This case accounts for half (50 percent) of all APS cases.
Secondary APS is when the patient already diagnosed to have other kind of autoimmune disease/disorder. like generic lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE). This accounts for the remaining half and match the statistics patterns of SLE and other connective tissue disorders. of the lupus anticoagulant cases. It is unknown why women is more at risk of having this types of APS than men.
As many other autoimmune diseases the cause of lupus anticoagulant remains to be discovered. Currently the world of medical science are still extensively conduct research on the disease.What is currently known about lupus anticoagulant now is that the body produces antibodies that target healthy tissue instead of targeting hostile substances like bacteria and viruses. The hostile antibody target the important protein that bind the phospholipids which responsible for blood clotting. The result is abnormal clotting throughout your veins. Science however managed to track down three possible factors which may trigger development of APS. They are :
Infections of other diseases :
Viruses like HIV, Hepatitis C and other infectious disease like Lyme disease and Syphilis may induce formation of hostile antiphospholipid antibodies.
Some antibiotics like amoxicillin, hydralazine which taken for high blood pressure patient may induce the antiphospholipid antibody formation. Other medications like guinidine which prescribed for regulating heart rhythm and anti seizure medicine phenytoin may also trigger development of antiphospholipid antibody
Genetics and heredity factor :
Current scientific research indicates that person having relatives that contract APS have an elevated risk and likelihood of having the hostile antibodies themselves. The reason for that are remains to be discovered. APS itself however is not considered a hereditary disease.
Symptoms and when to see doctors :
In this section we will detail several possible symptoms that you may have develop APS. And some of which may requires you to immediately seek medical attention.
Appearance of vascular thrombosis :
This is a sudden formation of blood clot in your artery or veins. This however may not visible to the naked eye.
The advanced stage of thrombosis. In this case, the solid clotted blood will detach from the wall of the veins where it first form and flowing along with the bloodstream. this is a very dangerous condition with multiple complications as the embolism can suddenly cause obstruction of veins.
Pregnancy loss and complications :
One sign of APS in woman is repeated loss of pregnancy.
This is a condition and one sign often associated with APS. It means that the person experiencing this condition have low amount platelets. Platelets is a small pieces of cell which help in healing and recovering wound. It is also responsible for blood clot. Low platelets count means elevated risk for mild to serious bleeding.
Red rashes or other skin condition :
Similar as generic lupus. the APS victim may develop rash with characteristics of mottled, lacy and having a net like pattern. The rash have its own designated name of Livedo reticularis. Others may develop ulcers and sores. Most occurs at area of extremities like legs. The condition can even develop into necrosis where the skin tissues died out and rot away.
Stroke and other neurological disorders :
This is the complications caused by Thrombosis and embolism. The blood clot that travels through the bloodstream will eventually stop and causing obstruction, depriving the surrounding tissue cells of important nutrient. If this happened in brain. This called as cerebrovascular thrombosis. If this occur at heart veins, it can cause heart attack. If the blood clot stopped at limb veins, it may end up with gangrene and necrosis of the tissue.
The APS however may not always yield a dangerous embolism, but might contribute to seizures, migraine and even cognitive dysfunction. Research are still ongoing to find the strong link between indication of APS with those conditions.
You diagnosed with generic lupus (SLE) other autoimmune disorders :
Odds are if you got diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosis (SLE), you will likely also have APS. Although there are other autoimmune disease that might cause APS, people having SLE have higher likelihood to also develop APS.
Therapy and medications and possible prevention
Although there are currently no known cure for lupus anticoagulant as well as other autoimmune disease, there are several medications and therapeutic options that can help slow down the disease and increase the life quality of the patients.
Medications treatment would be specific to the individual and based on their current health status with regards of the APS symptoms they are experiencing. Ideal treatment plan will be directed toward anti coagulation medications that will help thinning the blood and prevent abnormal clotting. Some medicines are available like :
- Warfarin or (Coumadin)
- Heparin : This medicine may be prescribed along with aspirin for pregnant woman.
- Aspirin : a generic medicine which can be useful in reducing blood clot. This often prescribed by physician for pregnant women and people who have the antibody but not showing symptoms of APS.
- Prednisone : This medicine is an immuno-suppressant which used to reduce immune system activity and
- Hydroxychloroquine or Plaquenil, which is perscribed for those who have secondary APS.
Additionally some behavior can also help in preventing or atleast reduce the possibility of developing abnormal blood clot.
- Do not smoke or use other tobacco related products.
- Keep your cholesterol and level of triglyceride low
- In order to bit improve your blood circulation, get up and move around during long flights or trip when you have to sit or lie down for a long period
Some additional Information
Since Lupus anticoagulant is closely related to Lupus. In this section we will also provide some insight on Lupus in general, some generic history, symptoms and
Generic history of lupus
This disease has been long known since ancient time. As early as the 12th century. However there are still not much known about lupus in general. The next era of lupus research occurred in 19th century specifically in 1851 where a French physician Pierre Cazenave defined a term discoid lupus. To differentiate it from another form of skin rash.
Further work in 19th century by Ferdinand von Hebra and his son in law Moritz Kapozi led to the further discovery on generic lupus. In the end of the 19th century. Sir William Osler released three papers containing extensive observation and even visceral research on several types of diseases including Lupus.
The modern research on lupus begin ay 1930’s with many research about the nature and possible treatment on the disease.
Lupus Anticoagulant Signs and symptoms
Diagnosing lupus anticoagulant and generic lupuscan be difficult as the sign and symptoms can resemble other form of skin rash problem.There are no two case of lupus are precisely alike. Some may present with full symptoms while other case may have one or two symptoms without showing another. It can develop in short time or long time, could be gentle to severe and can be permanent or temporary. Most people with lupus have gentle sickness which characterized by term episodes or flares where signs and symptoms for their lupus decline in just minutes then improve and completely disappear for a time.
The signs and lupus anticoagulant and generic lupus can be different to other patient. There are however several generalized signs that lupus might already attacked.
- fatigue and fever with no apparent cause
- Pain in the joint, accompanied with stiffness and swelling
- Tell tale signature of lupus, the appearance of butterfly shaped rash that can cover your cheeks or nose bridge
- The appearance of skin lesions that worsen after exposed to sun rays
- Raynaud’s phenomenon where fingers and toes turned color to white or blue after exposure to cold in several periods
- Breath shortness
- Chest pain
- Dry eyes which can be very annoying and may require artificial eye water treatment
- Headache, memory loss and confusion, may lead to vertigo.
General Diagnosis for Lupus
Doctor who is about to make diagnosis for you for lupus will look for the sign of inflammation, which include pain, heat, redness of skin, swelling and loss of function at some place in your body. Inflammation can occur in both inside (kidneys, heart and other organs) and outside (skin, limbs etc) Or can occur in both areas at same time.
Challenges in how to diagnose lupus are not to be understated. Lupus have another name, the great imitator as it is able to mimic symptoms of many other illnesses. Lupus can also have sketchy and unclear symptoms and can just come and go and can even change
Your doctor or other medical assistance will carefully review the following data while evaluating for any possibility of Lupus.
- your current symptoms
- your laboratory test results
- your medical history
- the medical history of your close family members (Parents, grandparents, niece, cousin, aunt, father and mother)
All of those information would be useful on how to diagnose lupus.
Wide variety of medical laboratory tests are available to detect various physical changes in your body that can be caused by lupus and APS. Each test may yield result that add more information to the diagnostic process your doctor is performing to determine your illness. However for number of reasons which will be mentioned below. Laboratory tests still cannot definitively give answer whether you got lupus or not.
- No single laboratory test able to determine whether a person got lupus or not
- Test results that suggest lupus can actually indicate other illnesses or can even be seen in healthy people or in other words a false positive
- A test result may yield positive at one time and negative another time.
- Test result can be different for each laboratory.
Diagnosis can be much easier if multiple symptoms or criteria are present simultaneously. All experts be it physician, pediatrician, family practitioner and internist may reach a solid lupus and lupus anticoagulant diagnosis. However in typical case of lupus. Symptoms often occur and develop gradually, thus diagnosis could be unclear and difficult. Consultation with a rheumatologist might be required.
Thant’s All Information about Lupus Anticoagulant you should Know, may be useful, see also: Types of Skin Rashes; Causes, Symptoms and Treatment