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Ren Fail. 1999 Jan;21(1):49-61.

Catastrophic antiphospholipid syndromes in systemic lupus erythematosus.

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Department of Nephrology, St. John Molinette Hospital, Torino, Italy.


The objective of this study was to look for the occurrence of catastrophic antiphospholipid syndromes (APS) and to try to detect discriminating factors for predicting a worse prognosis, related to Lupus anticoagulant (LA) and antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL), in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) with main renal involvement. Regression, recursive partition and logistic regression analyses were applied to our 80 SLE patients prospectively followed up since 1980. Immunologic and other laboratory parameters including beta 2-glycoprotein 1 dependence, resistance to activated protein C caused by a substitution on the coagulation factor V gene, induction of monocyte procoagulant activity. Regression studies demonstrated an overall worse prognosis in term of both thrombosis and death for the group of LA/aPL positive patients (33/80). However, recursive partition analysis was able to isolate a small high risk-subgroup (8/33) characterized by persistent LA/aPL antibodies positive result, widespread signs of noninflammatory vasculopathy (skin, brain, kidney) and renal pathology mimicking that of thrombotic microangiopathy or arteriolosclerosis, also in the absence of classic SLE-nephritis. Only in this subset, three catastrophic APS were recorded, while, in traditional SLE nephritis, even persistent LA/aPL positive results (sometimes after one previous thrombosis) did not seem to imply a particularly severe prognosis. All serologic criteria employed are unable to identify high-risk patients. We conclude that catastrophic APS is a rare event in renal SLE. Before more predictive serologic markers become available, a simple algorithm, dealing with clinical data and renal histologic patterns, may help physicians to identify putatively high risk-LA/aPL antibodies in SLE patients with main renal involvement. This ominous subset does not belong to the group of classic SLE-nephritis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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