Neurological disease associated with antiphospholipid antibodies

Dennis P. Briley, Bruce M. Coull, Scott H. Goodnight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

236 Scopus citations


The Hemostasis and Thrombosis Laboratory at the Oregon Health Sciences University identified 80 patients with significantly elevated anticardiolipin antibody (ACLA) levels. We reviewed all of their available medical records and found that 25 of these patients had associated neurological symptoms or disorders. These symptoms and disorders could be grouped into four distinct clinical patterns comprising encephalopathy, multiple cerebral infarctions, migraine‐like headaches, and visual abnormalities including amaurosis fugax and ischemic optic neuropathy. Cerebral ischemia best explained these neurological dysfunctions. There was no correlation between the presence or absence of neurological disease and ACLA levels, but ACLA levels were higher in patients with encephalopathy than in others with neurological involvement (p < 0.05). How neurological dysfunction and the presence of these antiphospholipid antibodies are related remains to be clarified. Nevertheless, in patients with unexplained cerebral ischemia, establishing the presence of ACLA may have prognostic and therapeutic importance. In particular, acute immunosuppressive therapy and plasmapheresis may be useful in patients with acute ischemic encephalopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-227
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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