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Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2009 Jun;36(2-3):131-40. doi: 10.1007/s12016-008-8112-z.

Renal involvement in the antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)-APS nephropathy.

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Department of Pathophysiology, School of Medicine, National University of Athens, Athens, Greece.


Although the kidney represents a major target organ in antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), renal involvement in APS was poorly recognized until recently. The most well-recognized renal manifestations of APS are the renal artery thrombosis/stenosis, renal infarction, hypertension, renal vein thrombosis, end-stage renal disease, increased allograft vascular thrombosis, some types of glomerular disease, and a small-vessel vaso-occlusive nephropathy, recently defined as APS nephropathy. APS nephropathy was first described in primary APS patients, characterized by acute thrombotic lesions in glomeruli and/or arterioles (thrombotic microangiopathy) and chronic vascular lesions such as fibrous intimal hyperplasia of arterioles and interlobular arteries, organized thrombi with or without recanalization, and fibrous arterial and arteriolar occlusions or focal cortical atrophy. APS nephropathy was also detected in further studies including patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)-related APS and SLE/non-APS patients with positive antiphospholipid antibodies, independently of lupus nephritis. The same histologic lesions, especially thrombotic mictroangiopathy, were also observed in patients with catastrophic APS. The most frequent clinical and laboratory characteristics of APS nephropathy in all the above groups of patients are hypertension (often severe), proteinuria (ranging from mild to nephrotic range), hematuria, and acute or chronic renal insufficiency.

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