Issue: 2004 > September > review

Pathophysiology of the antiphospholipid antibodies

P.G. de Groot, R.H.W.M. Derksen


The presence of antiphospholipid antibodies in plasma is a risk factor for thromboembolic complications. In vitro, however, the same antibodies can prolong clotting times in coagulation assays, a classic marker for a bleeding tendency. For years this contradiction has puzzled many scientists. Recently new insights into the interaction between antiphospholipid antibodies and their main target, the protein beta-2 glycoprotein I, have opened new avenues for the understanding of the pathology of this syndrome.