Lupus Anticoagulant Panel

This test is used to investigate inappropriate clot formation; to help determine the cause of recurrent miscarriage; to evaluate a prolonged aPTT (activated partial thromboplastin time); and as part of an evaluation for antiphospholipid antibody syndrome.

Antiphospholipid antibody tests are used to detect specific autoantibodies, proteins the body creates against itself in an autoimmune response to phospholipids. Found in cell membranes and platelets, phospholipids are a normal part of the body. They are lipid molecules that play a crucial role in blood clotting. When antiphospholipid antibodies are produced, they interfere with the clotting process in a way that is not fully understood. They increase the risk of developing recurrent blood clots (thrombi) in arteries and veins, which can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Antiphospholipid antibodies are also associated with thrombocytopenia (decreased platelets) and with the risk of recurrent miscarriages (especially in the 2nd and 3rd trimester), premature labor, and pre-eclampsia.

One or more antiphospholipid antibodies are frequently seen with autoimmune disorders such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). They may also be seen with HIV, some cancers, temporarily with infections and some drug treatments (such as phenothiazines and procainamide), and in the elderly. Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), also called Hughes syndrome, is a recognized group of signs and symptoms that includes the formation of thrombi, miscarriages, thrombocytopenia, and the presence of one or more antiphospholipid antibodies. APS can be primary (with no underlying autoimmune disorder) or secondary (existing with a diagnosed autoimmune disorder).

PREPARATION FOR TEST

A blood sample is obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in the arm.

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.