Catastrophic Antiphospholipid Syndrome

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Abstract

Catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome is a rapidly progressive life-threatening disease that causes multiple organ thromboses and dysfunction in the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies. A high index of clinical suspicion and careful investigation are required to make an early diagnosis so that treatment with anticoagulation and corticosteroids can be initiated; plasma exchange and/or intravenous immunoglobulins can be added if the life-threatening condition persists. Despite aggressive treatment and intensive care unit management, patients with catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome have a 48% mortality rate, primarily attributable to cardiopulmonary failure. This article reviews the current information on the etiopatho-genesis, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, management, and prognosis of catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome.

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