Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cases J. 2009 Oct 20;2:159. doi: 10.1186/1757-1626-2-159.

Ocular disorders as the prevailing manifestations of antiphospholipid syndrome: a case series.

Author information

  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Medical School, University of Thessaly, Larissa, 41110, Greece.



Antiphospholipid syndrome is an autoimmune disorder characterized by either a history of vascular thrombosis (one or more clinical episodes of arterial, venous, or small vessel thrombosis in any tissue or organ) or pregnancy morbidity in association with the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies. The systemic features of the syndrome are characterized by large variability depending on the affected organ(s). Among them, neurological and behavioural disturbances, dermatological features as livedo reticularis and renal, ocular, liver or valvular heart manifestations have been reported in antiphospholipid syndrome patients. However, studies on the frequency and clinical presentation of the ocular manifestations as the prevailing (first) sign of antiphospholipid syndrome in patients suffering from "unexplained" ocular disease are missing. Herein, we present three cases suffering from unexplained ocular disease as first manifestation of antiphospholipid syndrome.


All the three patients were referred to our department because of unexplained ocular features from the anterior or posterior segment and unexplained neuro-ophthalmologic symptoms. The first patient had bilateral retinal occlusive disease, the second and the third patient had unilateral nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy with macular oedema. Moderate to high levels of antiphospholipid antibodies were detected in all of them at baseline as well as 6 to 12 weeks after initial testing confirming the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies. Anticoagulant treatment with acenocoumarol was instituted resulting in stabilization and/or improvement of ocular signs in all of them.


Due to the important diagnostic and therapeutic implications of antiphospholipid syndrome, the possibility of ocular features as the first clinical manifestation of antiphospholipid syndrome should be kept in mind of the physicians particularly in patients with no evident risk factors for ocular disease. In this case, prompt anticoagulant treatment and close follow-up seem to be essential for vision salvation and stabilization.

Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk