Cardiolipin Antibodies

This is a test used to help investigate inappropriate blood clot formation. It is also used to help determine the cause of recurrent miscarriage, or as part of an evaluation for antiphospholipid syndrome. It is often done if you have had one or more unexplained venous or arterial blood clots, or if you have had recurrent miscarriages, especially in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

These tests detect the presence of three classes (IgG, IgM, and/or IgA) of cardiolipin antibodies. Produced by the immune system in response to a perceived threat, these proteins are the most common form of antiphospholipid antibodies. They are acquired autoantibodies that can affect the body's ability to regulate blood clotting in a way that is not well understood.

Cardiolipins, and other related phospholipids, are lipid molecules found in cell membranes and platelets. They play an important role in the blood clotting process. When antibodies are created against cardiolipins, they increase an affected patient's risk of developing recurrent inappropriate blood clots (thrombi) in both arteries and veins. Cardiolipin antibodies are associated with decreased platelets (thrombocytopenia) and with the risk of recurrent miscarriages (especially in the 2nd and 3rd trimester), premature labor, and pre-eclampsia.

PREPARATION FOR TEST

No preparation is necessary.

NORMAL FINDINGS

  • Less than 23 GPL (IgG phospholipid units)

  • Less than 11 MPL (IgL phospholipid units)

Ranges for normal findings may vary among different laboratories and hospitals. You should always check with your doctor after having lab work or other tests done to discuss the meaning of your test results and whether your values are considered within normal limits.

MEANING OF TEST

Your caregiver will go over the test results with you and discuss the importance and meaning of your results, as well as treatment options and the need for additional tests if necessary.

OBTAINING THE TEST RESULTS

It is your responsibility to obtain your test results. Ask the lab or department performing the test when and how you will get your results.