Thrombosis Journal (Dec 2021)

A catastrophic seronegative anti-phospholipid syndrome: case and literature review

  • Vanda Pinto,
  • Augusto Ministro,
  • Nuno Reis Carreira,
  • Ana Cardoso,
  • Catarina Sousa Gonçalves,
  • Mickael Henriques,
  • João Rato,
  • Emanuel Silva,
  • Luís Mendes Pedro

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 19, no. 1
pp. 1 – 7


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Abstract Background Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) is a multisystemic autoimmune disease characterized by arterial and venous thrombosis and / or obstetric morbidity in the presence of at least one circulating anti-phospholipid antibody. The spectrum of vascular events varies from deep venous thrombosis to catastrophic APS, a rare form characterized by acute multiorgan thrombosis and high mortality. Case report We present the case of a 32-week pregnant woman arriving in the hospital emergency room with bilateral acute lower limb ischemia. In the obstetric evaluation, fetal death was declared. Computerized Tomography angiography showed pulmonary embolism of both pulmonary arteries, areas of splenic and right renal infarction and multiple arterial and venous thrombosis. The patient underwent urgent caesarean section and axillary-bifemoral bypass. No events registered. In the postoperative period, in an intensive care unit, treatment with rituximab and plasmapheresis were added to anticoagulant therapy. The laboratorial investigation was negative for thrombophilia and autoimmune diseases. Conclusion Catastrophic APS develops quickly, with multiorgan involvement and high mortality rate. The presented case poses a multidisciplinary challenge, with the surgical approach of extra-anatomical revascularization being less invasive and guaranteeing immediate perfusion of the lower limbs. Although the serological tests were negative for anti-phospholipid antibodies, this case hardly fits into another diagnosis. Therefore, it was treated as a catastrophic APS, having shown a favorable evolution.