Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS)



Autoantibodies damage proteins that are attached to fat molecules (phospholipids) causing blood clots to form in the body’s arteries and veins and making the blood “stickier” than normal. This is dangerous because it causes an increased risk of abnormal blood clotting. APS is a systemic autoimmune disorder characterized by an increased risk for arterial, venous and/or microvascular thrombosis and various obstetric complications.

Common Symptoms

Chest pain and shortness of breath, pain, and swelling in the limbs, chronic headaches, speech changes, net-like rashes, upper body discomfort, nausea, and stroke.

Coexisting Diseases and Conditions

Lupus, cardiovascular diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, autoimmune hepatitis, systemic scleroderma, thrombosis, kidney damage, and miscarriages.

Risk Factors and Prevalence

Sex may be a possible risk factor given that APS has been shown to affect females 3 to 5 times more than males; other autoimmune disorders such as lupus, and infections.  The use of certain medications such as hydralazine (blood pressure), quinidine, Dilantin (anti-seizure), and amoxicillin are other risk factors.


  1. Article Sources
    1. Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome | NHLBI, NIH. (n.d.). Https://Www.Nhlbi.Nih.Gov/Health-Topics/Antiphospholipid-Antibody-Syndrome. Retrieved July 9, 2021, from

    2. Antiphospholipid Syndrome. (2019). Https://Www.Rheumatology.Org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Antiphospholipid-Syndrome.

    3. Antiphospholipid syndrome | Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD) – an NCATS Program. (n.d.). Https://Rarediseases.Info.Nih.Gov/Diseases/5824/Antiphospholipid-Syndrome. Retrieved July 9, 2021, from

    4. Antiphospholipid syndrome – Symptoms and causes. (2019, October 10). Mayo Clinic.

    5. NHS website. (2019, September 9). Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). Nhs. Uk.

    6. Franco, J.-S., Molano-González, N., Rodríguez-Jiménez, M., Acosta-Ampudia, Y., Mantilla, R. D., Amaya-Amaya, J., Rojas-Villarraga, A., & Anaya, J.-M. (2014). The coexistence of antiphospholipid syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus in Colombians. PloS One, 9(10), e110242.

    7. Rose, N. R., & Mackay, I. R. (2020). The Autoimmune Diseases (6th ed., pp. 621–627). Academic Press.