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Introduction. The antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is defined by the occurrence of venous and/or arterial thrombosis and/or pregnancy-related morbidity, combined with the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) and/or a lupus anticoagulant (LAC). Large, controlled, intervention trials in APS are limited. This paper aims to provide clinicians with an expert consensus on the management of APS.
Methods. Relevant papers were identified by literature search. Statements on diagnostics and treatment were extracted. During two consensus meetings, statements were discussed, followed by a Delphi procedure. Subsequently, a final paper was written.
Results. Diagnosis of APS includes the combination of thrombotic events and presence of aPL. Risk stratification on an individual base remains challenging. ‘Triple positive’ patients have highest risk of recurrent thrombosis. aPL titres > 99th percentile should be considered positive. No gold standard exists for aPL testing; guidance on assay characteristics as formulated by the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis should be followed. Treatment with vitamin K-antagonists (VKA) with INR 2.0-3.0 is first-line treatment for a first or recurrent APS-related venous thrombotic event. Patients with first arterial thrombosis should be treated with clopidogrel or VKA with target INR 2.0-3.0. Treatment with direct oral anticoagulants is not recommended. Patients with catastrophic APS, recurrent thrombotic events or recurrent
pregnancy morbidity should be referred to an expert centre.
Conclusion. This consensus paper fills the gap between evidence-based medicine and daily clinical practice for the care of APS patients.