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Antiphospholipid syndrome

In antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), the immune system produces abnormal antibodies which make the blood stickier than normal.

In antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), the immune system produces abnormal antibodies that make the blood 'stickier' than normal.

This means people with APS are more likely to develop blood clots in their veins and arteries, which can cause serious or life-threatening health problems such as:

People with APS may also experience any of the following symptoms:

Pregnancy problems

Women with APS have a much higher risk of developing complications during pregnancy, particularly if it's not treated. Possible complications include:

  • recurrent (three or more) early miscarriages, usually during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy
  • one or more later miscarriages, usually after week 10 of pregnancy
  • premature birth, usually at or before week 34 of pregnancy, which may be caused by pre-eclampsia (where a woman develops high blood pressure during pregnancy)

Livedo reticularis

Livedo reticularis is a skin condition caused by small blood clots that develop inside the blood vessels of the skin.

It causes the skin to take on a blotchy red or blue appearance. Some people also develop ulcers (sores) and nodules (bumps). These symptoms are often more severe in cold weather.

Superficial thrombophlebitis

Superficial thrombophlebitis is inflammation of the veins just under your skin, usually in your leg. The symptoms are similar to DVT but they're not usually as severe.

The symptoms of superficial thrombophlebitis include:

  • swelling
  • redness and tenderness along the affected vein
  • a high temperature of 38C (100.4F) or above (although this is less common)

The symptoms usually resolve within two to six weeks.

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