Lupus anticoagulant is an autoimmune disordercaused by antibodies that bind to phospholipidsand proteinsassociated with the cell membrane. This antibody has the peculiar nature of causing a delay in coagulation in laboratory tests (the partial thromboplastin time) while clinically predisposing for thrombosis. It is also known as lupus antibody, LA and lupus inhibitor. Together with anticardiolipin antibodies, LA causes the bulk of antiphospholipid syndrome.
Although it is named "lupus anticoagulant," this is a misnomer. Most patients with the antibody do not have lupus erythematosus, and only a small proportion will proceed to develop this disease (which causes joint pains, skin problems and renal failure, amongst other complications). Furthermore, this antibody is not associated with anticoagulation, but rather is associated with thrombosisand habitual abortion(repeated miscarriage). Various other symptoms (e.g. migraineand rash) may be reported, but these are very non-specific, and it is uncertain whether these are caused by the antibodies at all.
Diagnosis is initially with a laboratory test termed the dilute Russell viper venom time. Mixing studies then confirm the presence of lupus anticoagulant.
There is no specific treatment, but miscarriages can be prevented with the administration of low molecular weight heparins(LMWHs), and thrombosis is treated with anticoagulants(LMWHs and warfarin).
- Information on lupus anticoagulant from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry
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It uses material from the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupus+anticoagulant Wikipedia article Lupus anticoagulant.