Lupus anticoagulant and anticardiolipin antibodies in young adults with cerebral ischemia.
Our study evaluates in an unselected young population with cerebral ischemia the frequency of antiphospholipid antibodies; the relationship of antiphospholipid antibodies to conventional risk factors for and pathological mechanisms of cerebral ischemia; and the risk of recurrence of cerebral ischemia or systemic thrombotic events in patients with antiphospholipid antibodies compared with those without.
We prospectively tested for antiphospholipid antibodies in 55 of 59 young (aged 15-44 years) adults consecutively examined for ischemic stroke (n = 44) or transient ischemic attack (n = 11). These patients underwent a complete clinical and laboratory assessment for cerebral ischemia and had a 3-year mean follow-up.
Ten patients (18%), all with stroke, had antiphospholipid antibodies. Antiphospholipid antibodies were significantly more frequent in women than in men (Fisher's test, p = 0.014). Two patients with antiphospholipid antibodies had a new diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus. On angiography, none of the patients with antiphospholipid antibodies had extracranial lesions. Patients with antiphospholipid antibodies had significantly more prior cerebral events (Fisher's test, p = 0.014), and, by survival analysis, higher probability of cerebral ischemic or systemic thrombotic events during follow-up than patients without (log rank test, p less than 0.005).
We conclude that the prevalence of antiphospholipid antibodies is rather high in young adults with cerebral ischemia; that patients with cerebral ischemia and antiphospholipid antibodies may have unrecognized systemic lupus erythematosus; and that, among young patients with cerebral ischemia, patients with antiphospholipid antibodies constitute a subgroup at high risk of cerebral ischemic or systemic thrombotic recurrence. Prevention in this latter group may require close follow-up and treatment.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association