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Antiphospholipid Syndrome

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Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms associated with APS will vary from person to person and with each episode of inappropriate blood clot formation (thrombotic episode).

Pregnant women with APS may have recurrent miscarriages, preeclampsia, or premature births but with no distinguishable symptoms.

Symptoms associated with a blood clot depend upon where the clot forms in the body and damage that occurs. Blood clots may form in the veins of the legs (deep vein thrombosis) and may travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism). Blood clots can also form in arms or leg arteries (peripheral arterial thrombosis), for example. Risk of developing blood clots can increase with pregnancy, immobility, surgery, smoking, oral contraceptives, or high cholesterol.

Examples of APS signs and symptoms include:

  • Persistent headaches
  • Stroke
  • Repeated miscarriages or other pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Speech and/or cognitive changes
  • Seizures
  • Memory loss
  • Redness, swelling, and pain in a leg or arm
  • A red lacy rash on the arms or legs (livedo reticularis)
  • Skin ulcers
  • Mild to severe bleeding (with significant thrombocytopenia, a condition in which the body has a lower than normal amount of platelets, or with concomitant antibodies that target one of the coagulation factors, such as Factor X; people with this condition may have few or no other symptoms.)

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