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The Frequency of Phospholipid Antibodies in an Unselected Stroke Population

L.M. Metz, S. Edworthy, R. Mydlarski and M.J. Fritzler

Abstract: Background: Antibodies to cardiolipin and other phospholipids have been associated with recurrent thrombotic events, including stroke. Methods: Over a 16 month period we assessed an unselected cohort of 151 ischemic stroke patients for the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies. Patients with known systemic lupus erythematosis, systemic sclerosis, or Sjögrens Syndrome were excluded. Sera from patients admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of ischemic stroke (n = 151) and from controls (n = 111) assessed during the same period were tested for antiphospholipid antibodies (APLA) using 3 assays; anticardiolipin antibodies (ACA) by ELISA, prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), and VDRL. Results: The average age of ischemic stroke cases was 68 years (range 29 to 91) and of controls 63 years (range 29 to 86). The prevalence of APLA detected by at least one of the three methods was 12% for IS cases and 10% for controls. After correcting for known risk factors such as age, gender, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, hypertension, and smoking, the odds ratio for risk of stroke fell to 0.8 (C.I. 0.4 to 1.2). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that APLA may not be an independent risk factor for ischemic stroke in unselected persons who do not have known systemic lupus erythematosis or systemic sclerosis but further evaluation of the role of lupus anticoagulant is indicated.


Can. J. Neurol. Sci. 1998; 25: 64-69


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