What are the Presenting Features of Antiphospholipid Syndrome?
About Antiphospholipid Syndrome:
Antiphospholipid Syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system of the body produces antibodies which increase the risk of individuals developing blood clots. Also known as Hughes Syndrome, this disorder puts an individual at risk for developing medical conditions like Deep Venous Thrombosis and arterial thrombosis in which clots are formed in the arteries which supply blood to the heart.
Antiphospholipid Syndrome can also increase the risk of clot formation in the brain which affects the ability of the individual to do basic things like walking, seeing, or memorizing things.
Females get Antiphospholipid Syndrome more than males. A pregnant female with Antiphospholipid Syndrome is at risk for frequent miscarriages even in the later stages of pregnancy even though why this happens is not yet clear.
Presenting Features of Antiphospholipid Syndrome
The primary presenting feature for Antiphospholipid Syndrome is the presence of blood clots. A blood clot formed in the leg id medically referred to as a Deep Venous Thrombosis or DVT. An individual with DVT will have pain, swelling, and redness at the site of the clot. DVT is a serious condition especially when the clot migrates to the lungs causing Pulmonary Embolism.
A pregnant female with Antiphospholipid Syndrome will have frequent miscarriages. The female will have extremely high blood pressure during the pregnancy. Some females may also deliver a premature baby.
An individual with Antiphospholipid Syndrome also may have a transient ischemic attack or a TIA. It is only a temporary symptom and lasts only for a minute or two causing no permanent damage to the individual. Some people with Antiphospholipid Syndrome also develop rashes over the body.
Rarely, people with Antiphospholipid Syndrome also develop neurological symptoms like persistent headaches. Memory loss is also seen in some people with Antiphospholipid Syndrome. This is due to the clot affecting normal supply of blood to the brain. A clot within the arteries supplying blood to the heart can result in damage to the heart valves.
In some cases, easy bleeding is also seen in people with Antiphospholipid Syndrome. This is basically due to treatment given for this condition with blood thinners. Since this is a long term treatment, it results in the individual bleeding easily with minimal cuts and bruises.
If an individual has a known diagnosis of Antiphospholipid Syndrome and displays symptoms of stroke, has hemoptysis, heavy bleeding during periods, bright red stools then a consultation with a healthcare provider is recommended.
A trip to the emergency room is required of the individual displays symptoms of stroke, TIA, pulmonary embolism in which the individual has difficulty breathing, chest pain, and hemoptysis, or DVT for immediate treatment.