Evaluation of cardiac abnormalities and embolic sources in primary antiphospholipid syndrome by transesophageal echocardiography

M. Turiel, S. Muzzupappa, B. Gottardi, C. Crema, P. Sarzi-Puttini, E. Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Valvular lesions are frequently present in Primary Antiphospholipid Syndrome (PAPS) patients using transthoracic and/or transesophageal echocardiography. The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence of cardiac abnormalities (valvular thickening and/or regurgitation) or potential embolic sources (spontaneous echocontrast and/or vegetations) in PAPS patients. Methods: Multiplane transesophageal echocardiography was performed consecutively on 40 PAPS patients: 17 of them with thrombocytopenia, 27 with at least one thromboembolic event (stroke, transient ischaemic attack, arterial and/or venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism) and 14 with recurrent fetal loss. Design: Cardiac involvement (cardiac abnormalities and/or embolic sources) was present in 33/40 (82%) of PAPS patients. According to aCL titer these lesions were revealed in 17/24 (71%) of patients with aCL ≤ 40 GPL-U, while these lesions were present in 100% of patients with aCL > 40 GPL-U. Three patients presented mitral stenosis and 3 non-infective valve masses or vegetations. Embolic sources were found in 4/24 (17%) patients with aCL ≤ 40 GPL-U, while they were observed in 6/16 (37%) of patients with titer of aCL > 40 GPL-U (χ2 = 10.03, P <0.01). Regression analysis showed a positive correlation between mitral valve thickening and aCL antibodies titer (r = 0.5; P <0.001). Conclusions: Valvular lesions are commonly found in PAPS patients. Our data showed a significant correlation among aCL titer, mitral leaflets thickening and thromboembolic events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-412
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • aCL antibodies
  • Embolic sources
  • Primary antiphospholipid syndrome
  • Transesophageal echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology


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