Cardiovascular events in patients with antiphospholipid antibodies: Strategies of prevention

A. Tufano, A. Guida, M. N D Di Minno, A. M. De Gregorio, A. M. Cerbone, Giovanni Di Minno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Antiphospholipid antibodies are a heterogeneous group of auto-antibodies against phospholipids-binding proteins. The antiphospholipid syndrome is an autoimmune disorder characterized by the clinical association of antiphospholipid antibodies with a condition of hypercoagulability that can affect any blood vessel. Involvement of larger vessels, such as arteries or veins, manifests in the form of thrombosis or thromboembolism, whereas involvement of small vessels manifests as thrombotic micro-angiopathy. The antiphospholipid syndrome is also characterized by the presence of recurrent fetal loss. Patients who are persistently positive for antiphospholipid tests, and who have an arterial thrombosis or venous thrombosis history, are at increased risk of recurrence. Oral anticoagulant therapy is the mainstay of treatment for the thrombotic manifestations of the syndrome. Therapy with anticoagulant drugs should be long-term. On the other hand, although the thromboembolic potential of antiphospholipid antibodies has been well documented, there is still no general consensus on the prophylactic treatment of antiphospholipid antibodies carriers who have never developed vascular/obstetric manifestations. The effect of primary prophylaxis in antiphospholipid antibodies positive individuals is not well known and no evidence-based recommendations exist for thrombosis prevention in these individuals. However, the presence of risk factors for thrombosis increases the risk of first event of antiphospholipid antibodies positive patients. In conclusion, there is still much to learn on primary prophylaxis of asymptomatic antiphospholipid antibodies carriers. Hopefully, evidence-based guidelines will be available in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-223
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • Antiphospholipid antibodies
  • Aspirin
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Primary prophylaxis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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