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Blood. 2011 Oct 27;118(17):4714-8. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-03-340232. Epub 2011 Jul 15.

Incidence of a first thromboembolic event in asymptomatic carriers of high-risk antiphospholipid antibody profile: a multicenter prospective study.

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  • 1Departments of Clinical Cardiology, University Hospital, Padova, Italy.


Persistent antiphospholipid (aPL) antibodies are occasionally found in subjects without prior history of thromboembolic events (TEs), raising the dilemma of whether to initiate or not a primary thromboprophylaxis. A first TE is considered rare in aPL carriers, but previous studies did not consider the aPL profile nor was the test positivity confirmed in a reference laboratory. In this study, 104 subjects with high-risk aPL profile (positive lupus anticoagulant, anticardiolipin, and anti-β(2)-glycoprotein I antibodies, triple positivity) confirmed in a reference laboratory, were followed up for a mean of 4.5 years. There were 25 first TEs (5.3% per year): the cumulative incidence after 10 years was 37.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 19.9%-54.3%). On multivariate analysis, male sex (hazard ratio = 4.4; 95% CI, 1.5-13.1, P = .007) and risk factors for venous thromboembolism (hazard ratio = 3.3; 95% CI, 1.3-8.5, P = .01) were independent predictors for TEs. Aspirin did not significantly affect the incidence of TE. In conclusion, the occurrence of a first TE in carriers of high-risk aPL profile is considerable; it is more frequent among male subjects and in the presence of additional risk factors for venous TE. These data can help in the decision to initiate primary thromboprophylaxis in these subjects.

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