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Lupus. 2010 Apr;19(4):406-11. doi: 10.1177/0961203309360808.

Antiphospholipid syndrome and the brain in pediatric and adult patients.

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  • 1Division of Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.


The most common neurological manifestations of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) in all age-groups include stroke and transient ischemic attacks due to arterial thromboses and cerebral ischemia. Antiphospholipid antibodies may cause additional non-criteria neurological impairments through vascular, neuroinflammatory and direct neuronal effects. Anti-aggregant or anticoagulant therapies are indicated for APS-related ischemic strokes. Treatment regimens for asymptomatic antibody-positive patients and those with refractory or recurrent disease remain controversial. There is scant literature on the epidemiology and therapy of neurological APS manifestations in pediatric patients. Assessments of modifiable cardiovascular and inherited thrombophilia risk factors are essential in patients with APS. There may be a role for novel neuroimaging modalities in quantifying APS-related microstructural brain damage. The clinical utility of statins, antimalarials, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and thrombin inhibitors warrant further research.

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