Clinical and laboratory findings in patients with antiphospholipid antibodies and cerebral ischemia. The Antiphospholipid Antibodies in Stroke Study Group.
We reviewed the clinical and laboratory data of 128 patients with cerebrovascular disease and antiphospholipid antibodies. Cases were evenly divided between men and women, and the mean age of the study group was 46 years. Cerebral infarction occurred in 97 patients, and transient hemispheric ischemic attacks without stroke were recorded in 19; 12 suffered ocular ischemia. Systemic lupus erythematosus was diagnosed in 16% of all cases. Histories of systemic thromboembolic events and recurrent miscarriages were noted in 14% of the patients and in 19% of the women, respectively. Evidence of cerebral infarction preceding the index event was present in 30% of cases. During a mean follow-up of 16 months, nine of 96 (9%) patients sustained new cerebral infarctions. Of 72 echocardiographic studies, 16 (22%) showed valvular abnormalities. Cerebral angiography detected intracranial lesions in 24 of 49 patients (49%). These data indicate that antiphospholipid antibodies can be identified in stroke patients without known autoimmune disorders. They also suggest that antiphospholipid antibody-associated cerebrovascular ischemia may be recurrent and often occurs in patients with systemic thromboembolic events. Our findings should help design a prospective clinical trial that will assess the risk of recurrent thromboembolism in this population, identify stroke risk factors, and address therapy.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association