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Antiphosphatidylserine/prothrombin antibodies as biomarkers to identify severe primary antiphospholipid syndrome

Ariela Hoxha, Elena Mattia, Marta Tonello, Chiara Grava, Vittorio Pengo and Amelia Ruffatti



Anti-phosphatidylserine/prothrombin (aPS/PT) antibodies have begun to be considered potentional biomarkers for antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). This cohort study investigate the role of aPS/PT antibodies as a risk factor for severe APS by evaluating the association between those antibodies and clinical/laboratory profiles of APS.


Plasma/serum samples from 197 APS patients, 100 healthy subjects and 106 patients with autoimmune diseases were collected. IgG/IgM aPS/PT antibodies were assayed using commercial ELISA kit.


Prevalences of IgG and IgM aPS/PT (p<0.0001 and p=0.0009, respectively) and their titres (p<0.0001 and p=0.0002, respectively) were significantly higher in thrombosis/pregnancy group with respect to pregnancy morbidity alone. Prevalences of IgG and IgM aPS/PT (p<0.0001 and p=0.0004, respectively) and their mean levels (p=0.0001 for both) were significantly higher in the prematurity linked to life-threatening obstetric complications group with respect to miscarriage group. There was a significant relationship between IgG and IgM aPS/PT (p=0.001 and p=0.0002) and their mean levels were higher (p=0.0004 and p=0.0002, respectively) in the thrombotic microangiopathy group, considered a milestone manifestation of catastrophic APS. The relationship between IgG and IgM aPS/PT was significant and mean levels were higher in triple positive antiphospholipid antibody patients than in double and single positivity ones (p<0.0001 for all).


APS/PT antibodies were associated to severe thrombosis, severe pregnancy complications inducing prematurity, and vascular microangiopathy, all generally associated to high risk APS forms requiring strong therapy.


The authors thank Mrs. Linda Inverso for editing the English version of the manuscript.

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Employment or leadership: None declared.

  4. Honorarium: None declared.

  5. Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


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Received: 2016-7-17
Accepted: 2016-9-23
Published Online: 2016-11-7
Published in Print: 2017-6-1

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