The Significance and Management of Thrombocytopenia in Antiphospholipid Syndrome

Artim-Esen B. , DIZ-KUCUKKAYA R., Inanc M.

CURRENT RHEUMATOLOGY REPORTS, vol.17, no.3, 2015 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11926-014-0494-8


The association between antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) and clinical problems goes beyond what is stated in the antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) classification criteria, namely thrombosis and pregnancy morbidity, and thrombocytopenia is the most common non-criteria hematologic manifestation of aPL with a frequency ranging from 20 to 50 %. Thrombocytopenia is rarely severe, and hemorrhage is far less common than thrombosis. However, when anticoagulation is considered, it may constitute a clinical problem with increased bleeding risk. Furthermore, thrombocytopenia represents a risk factor for thrombosis in aPL-positive patients. Therefore, it is important to understand the pathogenesis and the clinical associations of thrombocytopenia to build the right medical approach in aPL-positive patients. In this paper, we review the literature on aPL/APS-associated thrombocytopenia and briefly discuss the other conditions that can result in thrombocytopenia as they have commonalities with APS and their recognition is important to establish the most appropriate treatment strategy.