Prevention of Recurrent Thrombosis in Antiphospholipid Syndrome: Different from the General Population?
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Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is characterized by arterial and/or venous thrombosis with or without pregnancy morbidity in the presence of autoantibodies targeting proteins that associate with membrane phospholipids, termed "antiphospholipid antibodies" (aPL). Management of arterial and venous thromboses shares some similarities with management of arterial and venous thromboses in the general population; however, there are key differences. The majority of studies addressing management of thrombotic APS focus on secondary prevention. Vitamin K antagonists (VKA) are typically used for secondary prevention of venous thromboembolism in APS. Optimal management of isolated arterial thrombosis, in particular ischemic stroke, in patients with APS is controversial, and proposed therapeutic options have included antiplatelet agents and VKA. Primary prophylaxis in aPL-positive patients should be an individualized decision taking into account patient-specific risks. There may be a role for adjuvant therapies such as hydroxychloroquine, vitamin D, statins, or novel therapeutics in specific patient populations.
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