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Am J Med. 1996 Nov;101(5):472-81.

The antiphospholipid/cofactor syndromes: a primary variant with antibodies to beta 2-glycoprotein-I but no antibodies detectable in standard antiphospholipid assays.

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Department of Immunology, Instituto Nacional de la Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, Mexico City, DF, Mexico.



Most systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients with two or more clinical manifestations of the antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) and negative antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) have antibodies to beta 2-glycoprotein-I (a beta 2 GP-I). Herein we describe a similar set of circumstances, but in patients without evidence of SLE.


We studied 6 patients with recurrent venous and/or arterial thromboses without aPL as detected by routine assays nor clinical or serological evidence of other autoimmune disease. Immunoglobin (Ig) G and IgM antibodies to bovine and human phospholipid-free beta 2 GP-I were studied by Western blot test and by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) utilizing radiated and nonirradiated plates. We also tested antibodies to cardiolipin, phosphatidylserine, and phosphatidylethanolamine by ELISA. As controls, 54 normal sera were studied.


All 6 patients had recurrent arterial and/or venous thromboses. Three also had thrombocytopenia, 1 had livedo reticularis, and 2 had valvular heart disease. None of the patients had aPL, but all had serum IgG reactivity against human and bovine beta 2 GP-I (P < 0.001 versus controls for both). Titers of anti-bovine beta 2 GP-I were higher when studied in irradiated plates but were also higher than normal in nonirradiated plates (P < 0.001). These antibodies did not recognize human or bovine beta 2 GP-I bound to cardiolipin in solid phase. We confirmed by Western blot that these autoantibodies recognize human beta 2 GP-I. We found no IgM a beta 2 GP-I.


We describe a primary condition akin to the antiphospholipid syndrome with negative aPL, but with serum IgG antibodies to human and bovine beta 2 GP-I. These antibodies recognize beta 2 GP-I epitopes that are not accessible when beta 2 GP-I is bound to cardiolipin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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