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Clin Nephrol. 2001 Dec;56(6):428-34.

IgM anticardiolipin antibodies are associated with stenosis of vascular access in hemodialysis patients but do not predict thrombosis.

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Department of Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla, USA.



The prevalence of anticardiolipin antibodies (ACA) is elevated amongst hemodialysis patients as compared with the general population. Previous studies have disagreed as to whether the presence of ACA represents a risk factor for access thrombosis. Other risk factors for access thrombosis (decreased blood flow, elevated venous pressure) have also been described.


We performed a combination retrospective and prospective cohort study of a single outpatient dialysis unit to assess the association between these potential risk factors and access thrombosis. ACA, access blood flow, presence of stenosis, and venous pressures were measured in 100 patients. Information on episodes of access thrombosis was gathered for 12 months prior to and 12 months after ACA measurement.


ACA were present in 19% of patients with equal numbers of IgG- and IgM-ACA. The presence of IgM-ACA was significantly associated with the use of aspirin and the presence of stenosis by Doppler at the time of ACA testing (p < 0.05). A logistic regression model was used to estimate the association between clinical factors and access thrombosis. In this multivariate analysis, the presence of access stenosis and a history of access thrombosis were both significantly associated with the development of access thrombosis. Adjusted for these variables, neither IgG- nor IgM-ACA was significantly associated with access thrombosis. The presence of an ACA was not associated with episodes of access thrombosis in either the prospective or retrospective analyses.


Further investigation is required to determine if the association between aspirin use and IgM-ACA, or of IgM-ACA and access stenosis, has implications for underlying pathogenetic mechanisms of access stenosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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