Seronegative antiphospholipid syndrome: refining the value of "non-criteria" antibodies for diagnosis and clinical management.
ABSTRACT: Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by arterial and venous thrombotic manifestations and/or pregnancy-related complications in patients with persistently high antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL), the most common being represented by anticardiolipin antibodies (aCL), anti-beta 2 glycoprotein-I (a?2GPI), and lupus anticoagulant (LAC). A growing number of studies have showed that, in some cases, patients may present with clinical features of APS but with temporary positive or persistently negative titers of aPL. For these patients, the definition of seronegative APS (SN-APS) has been proposed. Nevertheless, the negativity to classic aPL criteria does not imply that other antibodies may be present or involved in the onset of thrombosis. The diagnosis of SN-APS is usually made by exclusion, but its recognition is important to adopt the most appropriate anti-thrombotic strategy to reduce the rate of recurrences. This research is in continuous development as the clinical relevance of these antibodies is far from being completely clarified. The most studied antibodies are those against phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinositol, vimentin/cardiolipin complex, and annexin A5. Moreover, the assays to measure the levels of these antibodies have not yet been standardized. In this review, we will summarize the evidence on the most studied non-criteria aPL, their potential clinical relevance, and the antithrombotic therapeutic strategies available in the setting of APS and SN-APS.
Project description:Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is an adquired autoimmune pro-thrombotic disease characterized by arterial and/or venous thrombosis and/or fetal losses associated with the persistent presence of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) detectable by solid phase assays (anticardiolipin (aCL) and anti-?2 glycoprotein I, ?2GPI) and/or functional coagulation test (lupus anticoagulant (LA)). Most patients with typical APS manifestations have the presence of one or more of conventional aPL, but, some patients might exhibit clinical features related with APS but with persistent negative determinations of "classic" aPL (seronegative APS). Expanding the network of autoantibodies in patients highly suspected of having APS but who have normal results from a conventional test using new antibodies (i.e., phosphatidylserine/prothrombin and ?2GPI domain 1) would increase the diagnosis. Thrombosis is one of the leading causes of death among patients with cancer, representing up to 15% of all deaths. Cancer increases the risk of thrombosis and chemotherapy is further associated with a higher risk of thrombosis. In addition, aPL may contribute to an increased risk of thrombosis in patients with malignancies, although the levels do not seem to reflect their pathogenicity. Several malignancies, particularly hematological and lymphoproliferative malignancies, may indeed be associated with the generation of aPL but do not necessarily enhance the thrombophilic risk in these patients.
Project description:Objectives:We evaluate the performance characteristics of antiphosphatidylserine (anti-PS), antiphosphatidylinositol (anti-PI), and antiphospholipid mixture (APhL) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) compared with anticardiolipin (aCL) and anti-?2 glycoprotein I (anti-?2GPI) in a large group of patients with antiphospholipid (aPL)-related diseases. Methods:Serum samples from 548 patients from the Hopkins and Jamaican systemic lupus erythematosus cohorts, the PROMISSE cohort, and the Antiphospholipid Standardization Laboratory were examined for immunoglobulin G (IgG)/immunoglobulin M (IgM) positivity in aCL, anti-?2GPI, anti-PS, anti-PI, and APhL ELISA assays. Results:All IgG assays were associated with one or more thrombotic and/or obstetric manifestations, with an increased risk associated with higher antibody titers. Analytical performance was similar among assays, but IgG assays performed better than IgM counterparts. Conclusions:Increasing titers of APhL, anti-PS, and anti-PI antibodies could indicate an increased risk of thrombotic and/or obstetric aPL-related manifestations. These assays may be promising biomarkers for particular APS manifestations.
Project description:Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is defined by clinical manifestations that include thrombosis and/or fetal loss or pregnancy morbidity in patients with antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL). Antiphospholipid antibodies are among the most common causes of acquired thrombophilia, but unlike most of the genetic thrombophilias are associated with both venous and arterial thrombosis. Despite an abundance of clinical and basic research on aPL, a unified mechanism that explains their prothrombotic activity has not been defined; this may reflect the heterogeneity of aPL and/or the fact that they may influence multiple pro- and/or antithrombotic pathways. Antiphospholipid antibodies are directed primarily toward phospholipid binding proteins rather than phospholipid per se, with the most common antigenic target being ?2-glycoprotein 1 (?2GPI) although antibodies against other targets such as prothrombin are well described. Laboratory diagnosis of aPL depends upon the detection of a lupus anticoagulant (LA), which prolongs phospholipid-dependent anticoagulation tests, and/or anticardiolipin and anti-?2-glycoprotein 1 antibodies. Indefinite anticoagulation remains the mainstay of therapy for thrombotic APS, although new strategies that may improve outcomes are emerging. Preliminary reports suggest caution in the use of direct oral anticoagulants in patients with APS-associated thrombosis. Based on somewhat limited evidence, aspirin and low molecular weight heparin are recommended for obstetrical APS. There remains a pressing need for better understanding of the pathogenesis of APS in humans, for identification of clinical and laboratory parameters that define patients at greatest risk for APS-related events, and for targeted treatment of this common yet enigmatic disorder.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite expansion in the 2006 Sydney antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) classification criteria to include IgG/IgM anti-?2-glycoprotein (a?2GPI) antibodies in addition to IgG/IgM anti-cardiolipin antibodies (aCL) and lupus anticoagulant (LAC), some individuals with clinical features of APS remain seronegative (seronegative APS or SNAPS) and are at risk of recurrent thrombosis and pregnancy morbidities. Our aim was to assess the value of "non-criteria" aPL antibodies to detect these SNAPS patients. METHODS:One hundred ninety-two APS patients, 90 SNAPS patients, 193 autoimmune disease controls, and 120 healthy controls were evaluated. Ten antiphospholipid antibodies (aPLs) were tested using commercial kits, including 5 non-criteria aPLs: anti-phosphatidylserine/prothrombin antibodies (aPS/PT) IgG/IgM, aCL IgA, a?2GPI IgA, and anti-?2GPI Domain 1 (a?2GPI-D1) IgG. RESULTS:Up to 60.9% of the SNAPS and 93.5% of APS patients were detected by at least one non-criteria aPL. aPS/PT IgG had the highest Youden index in classifying APS and SNAPS from controls. aPS/PT IgG and a?2GPI Domain 1 IgG seem to be the most significant risk factors for thrombotic events and pregnancy morbidity, respectively. aPS/PT IgG/IgM and a?2GPI-D1 IgG were detected in some SNAPS patients, while IgA isotypes of aCL/a?2GPI tended to appear together with other biomarkers. The combined analysis showed enhanced diagnostic performance with the inclusion of non-criteria aPLs. CONCLUSIONS:Recognition of SNAPS patients is critical for clinical management and prevention of potential thrombotic and obstetric adverse events. The non-criteria antiphospholipid antibodies help to identify a considerable portion (60.9%) of these patients who otherwise may remain untreated and at clinical risk.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Anticardiolipin (aCL) and anti-?2 glycoprotein I (a?2GPI) immunoglobulin (Ig) G/IgM antibodies are 2 of the 3 laboratory criteria for classification of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). The threshold for clinically relevant levels of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) for the diagnosis of APS remains a matter of debate. The aim of this study was to evaluate the variation in cutoffs as determined in different clinical laboratories based on the results of a questionnaire as well as to determine the optimal method for cutoff establishment based on a clinical approach.<h4>Methods</h4>The study included samples from 114 patients with thrombotic APS, 138 patients with non-APS thrombosis, 138 patients with autoimmune disease, and 183 healthy controls. aCL and a?2GPI IgG/IgM antibodies were measured at 1 laboratory using 4 commercial assays. Assay-specific cutoff values for aPL were obtained by determining 95th and 99th percentiles of 120 compared to 200 normal controls by different statistical methods.<h4>Results</h4>Normal reference value data showed a nonparametric distribution. Higher cutoff values were found when calculated as 99th rather than 95th percentiles. These values also showed a stronger association with thrombosis. The use of 99th percentile cutoffs reduced the chance of false positivity but at the same time reduced sensitivity. The decrease in sensitivity was higher than the gain in specificity when 99th percentiles were calculated by methods wherein no outliers were eliminated.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We present cutoff values for aPL determined by different statistical methods. The 99th percentile cutoff value seemed more specific. However, our findings indicate the need for standardized statistical criteria to calculate 99th percentile cutoff reference values.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The direct role of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) at maternal-fetal interface has not been fully investigated, especially whether they are involved in physiological and pathological implantation conditions, in an antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)-independent manner. In fact, trophoblast cells and placental endothelial cells at the implantation site express potential aPL targeted-phospholipid antigens (PL Ags); thus, the local production and presence of their specific antibodies, not related to APS (characterized by aPL presence in the peripheral blood), could be a potential marker of aberrant invasion, implantation and fetal-maternal immune tolerance processes. METHODS:Anti-Beta2glycoprotein I (anti-?2GPI) and anticardiolipin (aCL Ab) antibodies (the most clinically relevant aPL) were detected by immunoenzymatic assay (ELISA), in the amniotic fluid (AF) of 167 women with physiological and complicated common pregnancy conditions, sharing an aberrant implantation process, such as recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL), autoimmune hypothyroidism (ahT) and smoking. All women included in the study were negative to peripheral blood aPL. RESULTS:aCL and anti-?2GPI antibodies were detectable in all the AF samples. RPL, ahT and smoking patients had higher level of anti-?2GPI Abs (IgM) compared to women with physiological pregnancies (p <?0.0001). Since IgM cannot cross the placenta, their local production in response to maternal-fetal interface stimuli, could be hypothesized. CONCLUSIONS:The presence of aPL in the AF (not related to APS) could reveal a potential clinical significance at maternal-fetal interface in selected pregnancy complications, in which an aberrant implantation process, and in turn an impaired fetal-maternal immune tolerance cross-talk, could occur.
Project description:The antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is characterized by thrombosis and/or pregnancy morbidity in the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies, including anti-?2-glycoprotein-I (anti-?2GPI), that are considered central to APS pathogenesis. Based on animal studies showing a role of complement in APS-related clinical events, we used the modified Ham (mHam) assay (complement-dependent cell killing) and cell-surface deposition of C5b-9 to test the hypothesis that complement activation is associated with thrombotic events in APS. A positive mHam (and corresponding C5b-9 deposition) were present in 85.7% of catastrophic APS (CAPS), 35.6% of APS (and 68.5% of samples collected within 1 year of thrombosis), and only 6.8% of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) sera. A positive mHam assay was associated with triple positivity (for lupus anticoagulant, anticardiolipin, and anti-?2GPI antibodies) and recurrent thrombosis. Patient-derived anti-?2GPI antibodies also induced C5b-9 deposition, which was blocked completely by an anti-C5 monoclonal antibody, but not by a factor D inhibitor, indicating that complement activation by anti-?2GPI antibodies occurs primarily through the classical complement pathway. Finally, patients with CAPS have high rates of rare germline variants in complement regulatory genes (60%), compared with patients with APS (21.8%) or SLE (28.6%) or normal controls (23.3%), and have mutations at a rate similar to that of patients with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (51.5%). Taken together, our data suggest that anti-?2GPI antibodies activate complement and contribute to thrombosis in APS, whereas patients with CAPS have underlying mutations in complement regulatory genes that serve as a "second hit," leading to uncontrolled complement activation and a more severe thrombotic phenotype.
Project description:BACKGROUND:?2-Glycoprotein I (?2GPI) represents the major antigenic target for antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL), with domain 1 (D1) being identified as a risk factor for thrombosis and pregnancy complications in APS. We aimed to analyse the ability of aPL, and particularly anti-D1 ?2GPI, to stimulate prothrombotic and proinflammatory activity of immune cells in vitro. METHODS:Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 11 healthy individuals were incubated with: (1) "anti-D1(+)"-pooled plasma derived from patients suspected of having APS contained anticardiolipin antibodies (aCL), lupus anticoagulant (LA), anti-?2GPI and anti-D1 ?2GPI; (2) "anti-D1(-)"-pooled plasma from patients suspected of having APS contained aCL, LA, anti-?2GPI, and negative for anti-D1 ?2GPI; (3) "seronegative"-negative for aPL. RESULTS:The presence of anti-D1(+) and anti-D1(-) plasma resulted in increased HLA-DR and CD11b on monocytes. While only anti-D1(+) plasma markedly increased the percentage and median fluorescence intensity (MFI) of CD142 (tissue factor, TF) on monocytes in comparison with those cultured with anti-D1(-) and seronegative plasma. Anti-D1(+) plasma resulted in increased percentage and MFI of activation marker CD69 on NK and T cytotoxic cells. Expression of IgG receptor Fc?RIII(CD16) on monocytes and NK cells was down-regulated by the anti-D1(+) plasma. CONCLUSIONS:Taking together, our study shows the ability of patient-derived aPL to induce immune cell activation and TF expression on monocytes. For the first time, we demonstrated the influence of anti-D1 ?2GPI on the activation status of monocytes, NK and cytotoxic T cells. Our findings further support a crucial role of D1 epitope in the promotion of thrombosis and obstetrical complications in APS.
Project description:Background:Critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have a profound hypercoagulable state and often develop coagulopathy which leads to organ failure and death. Because of a prolonged activated partial-thromboplastin time (aPTT), a relationship with anti-phospholipid antibodies (aPLs) has been proposed, but results are controversial. Functional assays for aPL (i.e., lupus anticoagulant) can be influenced by concomitant anticoagulation and/or high levels of C reactive protein. The presence of anti-cardiolipin (aCL), anti-beta2-glycoprotein I (anti-?2GPI), and anti-phosphatidylserine/prothrombin (aPS/PT) antibodies was not investigated systematically. Epitope specificity of anti-?2GPI antibodies was not reported. Objective:To evaluate the prevalence and the clinical association of aPL in a large cohort of COVID-19 patients, and to characterize the epitope specificity of anti-?2GPI antibodies. Methods:ELISA and chemiluminescence assays were used to test 122 sera of patients suffering from severe COVID-19. Of them, 16 displayed major thrombotic events. Results:Anti-?2GPI IgG/IgA/IgM was the most frequent in 15.6/6.6/9.0% of patients, while aCL IgG/IgM was detected in 5.7/6.6% by ELISA. Comparable values were found by chemiluminescence. aPS/PT IgG/IgM were detectable in 2.5 and 9.8% by ELISA. No association between thrombosis and aPL was found. Reactivity against domain 1 and 4-5 of ?2GPI was limited to 3/58 (5.2%) tested sera for each domain and did not correlate with aCL/anti-?2GPI nor with thrombosis. Conclusions:aPL show a low prevalence in COVID-19 patients and are not associated with major thrombotic events. aPL in COVID-19 patients are mainly directed against ?2GPI but display an epitope specificity different from antibodies in antiphospholipid syndrome.
Project description:Patients with COVID-19 are at high risk for thrombotic arterial and venous occlusions. Lung histopathology often reveals fibrin-based blockages in the small blood vessels of patients who succumb to the disease. Antiphospholipid syndrome is an acquired and potentially life-threatening thrombophilia in which patients develop pathogenic autoantibodies targeting phospholipids and phospholipid-binding proteins (aPL antibodies). Case series have recently detected aPL antibodies in patients with COVID-19. Here, we measured eight types of aPL antibodies in serum samples from 172 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. These aPL antibodies included anticardiolipin IgG, IgM, and IgA; anti-?<sub>2</sub> glycoprotein I IgG, IgM, and IgA; and anti-phosphatidylserine/prothrombin (aPS/PT) IgG and IgM. We detected aPS/PT IgG in 24% of serum samples, anticardiolipin IgM in 23% of samples, and aPS/PT IgM in 18% of samples. Antiphospholipid autoantibodies were present in 52% of serum samples using the manufacturer's threshold and in 30% using a more stringent cutoff (?40 ELISA-specific units). Higher titers of aPL antibodies were associated with neutrophil hyperactivity, including the release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), higher platelet counts, more severe respiratory disease, and lower clinical estimated glomerular filtration rate. Similar to IgG from patients with antiphospholipid syndrome, IgG fractions isolated from patients with COVID-19 promoted NET release from neutrophils isolated from healthy individuals. Furthermore, injection of IgG purified from COVID-19 patient serum into mice accelerated venous thrombosis in two mouse models. These findings suggest that half of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 become at least transiently positive for aPL antibodies and that these autoantibodies are potentially pathogenic.