Symptoms and Treatment for Lupus Anticoagulant

Posted on 13. Aug, 2012 by in General Health Concerns

There are various types of antibodies and substances which are designed to test and prevent certain diseases in the body. One of which is the lupus anticoagulant. This anticoagulant is actually an antibody which is found in the lining of the cells. Its main function is to prevent blood clotting, especially in a test tube. People who have this type of antibody will most likely be at risk of abnormal blood clotting. This anticoagulant also binds to phospholipids and it precipitates the formation of several thrombi.

Is this coagulant related to the lupus disease?

In reality, lupus anticoagulant is very different from lupus erythematosus and it might often be misleading especially inside the hospital. This anticoagulant does not lead to lupus erythromatosus. However, patients who are suffering from lupus erythromatosus might develop the anticoagulant and once it is developed it might lead to joint pains, renal failure and several other conditions. This anticoagulant can be found in several medications including antibiotic amoxicillin, phenytoin, hydralazine and quinine. Patients who are suffering from ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and other infections can also get this anticoagulant.

Symptoms and Complications

Presence of prolonged clotting can be seen in patients. Most of the time, the condition can only be diagnosed through serological testing and the use of several medical devices.  In order to check if the patient is suffering from the anticoagulant, mix testing is done on the blood. The patient’s blood is mixed with normal pooled blood. Once clotting starts, continuous checking and timing is done. If the clotting is prolonged and the time is abnormal then the patient is suffering from this condition. Some other symptoms include continuous blood clots and recurrent miscarriages. For those who are already suffering from the condition, possible complications include stroke, heart attack and clotting in the lungs which might lead to pulmonary embolism.

The Partial Thromoboplastin Time test

The Partial Thromoboplastin Time test or PTT is designed specifically for patients who are suffering from clotting conditions. It is a test to see if the patient might be suffering from any clotting problems or if he is at risk of bleeding. The test is performed through the use of a needle. A needle is used to take the blood from one of the veins and the collected blood is placed in a specimen container. The doctors will then add specific types of chemicals to the stain sample and they will check on how long it takes for the blood to clot. In order for the test to be effective, patients are required to stop taking medications that might affect the results. Some of the drugs which are not allowed are Vitamin C capsules, aspirin, antihistamines and chlorpromazine.

What is the treatment?

Patients who are suffering from, lupus anticoagulant will have a series of treatments. The treatment is usually based on the presence of thrombosis and the history of the patient. Patients with a history of thrombosis will most likely be given anticoagulants. If the patient does not show any symptoms then no form of treatment is given. If the blood becomes thinner, a dosage of warfarin or heparin is provided.

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