At a Glance
Why Get Tested?
To help investigate inappropriate blood clot formation; to help determine the cause of recurrent miscarriage; as part of an evaluation for antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)
When to Get Tested?
When you have had one or more unexplained blood clots in a vein or artery; when you have had recurrent miscarriages, especially in the second and third trimesters
A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm
Test Preparation Needed?
The Test Sample
What is being tested?
This test detects and measures one or more classes (IgG, IgM, or IgA) of beta-2 glycoprotein 1 antibodies. Beta-2 glycoprotein 1 antibody is one of three primary antiphospholipid antibodies, which are autoantibodies that target the body’s own lipid-proteins (phospholipids) found in the outermost layer of cells (cell membranes) and platelets. It is less common than the other two, cardiolipin antibody and lupus anticoagulant.
Antiphospholipid antibodies interfere with the body’s blood clotting process in a way that is not fully understood. Their presence increases a person’s risk of developing inappropriate blood clots (thrombi) in both arteries and veins. Antiphospholipid antibodies are most frequently seen in those with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), an autoimmune disorder associated with blood clots (thrombotic episodes), a low platelet count (thrombocytopenia), or with pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia and recurrent miscarriages, especially in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
One or more antiphospholipid antibodies may also be seen with other autoimmune disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
How is the sample collected for testing?
A blood sample is obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in the arm.
NOTE: If undergoing medical tests makes you or someone you care for anxious, embarrassed, or even difficult to manage, you might consider reading one or more of the following articles: Coping with Test Pain, Discomfort, and Anxiety, Tips on Blood Testing, Tips to Help Children through Their Medical Tests, and Tips to Help the Elderly through Their Medical Tests.
Another article, Follow That Sample, provides a glimpse at the collection and processing of a blood sample and throat culture.
Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?
No test preparation is needed.
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NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used.
(Reviewed 2010 December 15). Learning About Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS). National Human Genome Research Institute [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.genome.gov/17516396 through http://www.genome.gov. Accessed March 2011.
Belilos, E. and Carsons, S. (Updated 2009 August 3). Antiphospholipid Syndrome. eMedicine [On-line information]. Available online at http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/333221-overview through http://emedicine.medscape.com. Accessed March 2011.
Rodgers, III, G. et. al (Updated 2011 January). Antiphospholipid Syndrome - APS. ARUP Consult [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.arupconsult.com/Topics/APS.html?client_ID=LTD through http://www.arupconsult.com. Accessed March 2011.
(© 1995–2011). Unit Code 88894: Beta-2 Glycoprotein 1 Antibodies, IgG, IgM, and IgA, Serum Mayo Clinic, Mayo Medical Laboratories [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Overview/88894 through http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com. Accessed March 2011.
(© 2011). Antiphospholipid Antibodies. Lupus Foundation of America, Inc. [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.lupus.org/webmodules/webarticlesnet/templates/new_learnaffects.aspx?articleid=2302&zoneid=526 through http://www.lupus.org. Accessed March 2011.
(Revised 2010 August). Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/aps/aps_all.html through http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov. Accessed March 2011.
(© 2004-2011). Autoimmune Disease in Women, American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association [On-line information]. Available online at http://www.aarda.org/women_and_autoimmunity.php through http://www.aarda.org. Accessed March 2011.
Wu, A. (© 2006). Tietz Clinical Guide to Laboratory Tests, 4th Edition: Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis, MO. Pp 134-135.
Henry’s Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 21st ed. McPherson R, Pincus M, eds. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier: 2007. Pp 774-775.