Antiphospholipid syndrome: a clinical review

Veronica Mezhov, Julian D Segan, Huyen Tran and Flavia M Cicuttini
Med J Aust 2019; 211 (4): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50262
Published online: 5 August 2019


  • Antiphospholipid syndrome is characterised by recurrent thrombosis (arterial, venous, microvascular) and/or pregnancy complications in the presence of persistent antiphospholipid antibodies (lupus anticoagulant, anti‐β2‐glycoprotein 1 and anticardiolipin).
  • It can be a primary disease or associated with another autoimmune disease (especially systemic lupus erythematosis).
  • Testing for antiphospholipid antibodies should be considered in patients < 50 years of age with unprovoked venous or arterial thromboembolism, thrombosis at unusual sites or pregnancy complications.
  • The mainstay of treatment is antithrombotic therapy and recommendations vary based on arterial, venous or pregnancy complications.
  • If associated with systemic lupus erythematosis, hydroxychloroquine is recommended both as primary and secondary prophylaxis.
  • Antithrombotic treatment is gold standard and effective.

  • 1 Alfred Health, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 Monash University, Melbourne, VIC



We thank James McFadyen, Indi Rasaratnam, Juan Aw and Shom Bhattacharjee of Alfred Health for contributing to the content and review of this article.

Competing interests:

Huyen Tran has received grants from Bayer Health and Pfizer and speaker honoraria from Bayer Health and Boehringer Ingelheim.

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