Lupus anticoagulant is a specific immunoglobulin that prolongs the time it takes blood
to clot but does not produce a bleeding disorder. It occurs in approximately 25% of people
who have lupus erythematosus, and is also seen in people who take phenothiazine
medication, as well as in otherwise normal people. In some people it is associated with an
increased risk of blood clots and may be the cause of recurrent spontaneous abortions. If
a secondary disorder such as thrombocytopenia is present, bleeding will probably occur.
Risk factors are lupus erythematosus and recent use of phenothiazine medication.
Symptoms of Lupus Anticoagulant
Note: There may be no symptoms.
Diagnosis of Lupus Anticoagulant
Treatment of Lupus Anticoagulant
No treatment is required is someone does not have any symptoms. If bloods do clots occur, patients are usually anticoagulated with heparin (which is injected under the skin or given intravenously (IV)) followed by oral warfarin (coumadin) therapy or several months. Higher than usual doses of warfarin may be required and the treatment may need to be continued for a longer period of time. In someone with the lupus anticoagulant the risk of recurrence of both arterial and venous thrombotic episodes is relatively high. Some patients may need to be on long-term (even life-long) oral anticoagulation.
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