Although antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) are associated with thrombosis, it is not known who with aPL is at higher risk for thrombosis. It was the aim of this cross-sectional study to investigate how thrombophilic factors contribute to venous or arterial thrombosis in aPL-positive individuals. In outpatient test centres at two tertiary care hospitals, two hundred and eight (208) persons requiring aPL testing were matched by age, gender and centre to 208 persons requiring a complete blood count. Persons were classified as aPL-positive (having anticardiolipin, lupus anticoagulant and/or anti-β2-glycoprotein I antibodies) or aPL-negative. Several thrombophilic factors were studied using logistic regression modelling. Results showed that the aPL-positive group had three-fold more events (37%) than the aPL-negative group (12%). In unadjusted analyses, clinically important associations were observed between factor V Leiden and venous thrombosis, hyperhomocysteinemia and arterial thrombosis, and activated protein C resistance (APCR) and venous thrombosis (OR, 95% CI = 4.00, 1.35–11.91; 4.79, 2.03–11.33; and 2.03, 1.03–3.97, respectively). After adjusting for recruitment group, persons with both APCR and aPL had a three-fold greater risk (OR, 95% CI = 3.31, 1.30–8.41) for venous thrombosis than those with neither APCR nor aPL. Similarly, after adjusting for hypertension, family history of cardiovascular disease, gender and recruitment group, persons with both hyperhomocysteinemia and aPL had a five-fold increased risk (OR, 95% CI = 4.90, 1.37–17.37) for arterial thrombosis compared to those with neither risk factor. In conclusion, APCR phenotype and hyperhomocysteinemia are associated with a higher risk of venous and arterial thrombosis, respectively, in the presence of aPL.
Keywords: Antiphospholipid antibodies, antiphospholipid syndrome, thrombosis, activated protein C resistance, hyperhomocysteinemia