Lupus anti-coagulant test

What are lupus anticoagulants?

Our immune system produces a type of autoantibodies called lupus anticoagulants (LA). They tend to erroneously attack certain components of our own body’s cells. Phospholipids and proteins which are associated with phospholipids present in the outer-most layer of cells are their specific targets. It is considered that LA interfere with the process of blood clotting by an unknown mechanism and escalate the risk of blood clot development. Lupus anticoagulant testing involvesa chain of tests so as to detect the presence of LA in the blood.

Importance in gynecologists:
Antiphospholipid syndrome leads to multiple obstetric complications like recurrent miscarriage, early delivery, oligohydramnios, prematurity, intrauterine growth restriction, fetal distress, fetal or neonatal thrombosis, pre-eclampsia/eclampsia, HELLP syndrome, arterial or venous thrombosis and placental insufficiency.

Thus, three antiphospholipid antibodies are considered vital by the gynecologists, to betested to diagnose this condition. One of which is Lupus anticoagulant.

Objective of test:
To test the presence of lupus anticoagulant factor.

What does it indicate?

LA is associated with various conditions like:

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Certain autoimmune disorders
  • Collagen vascular disease
  • Response to certain medications
  • Certain infections like respiratory tract infections in children
  • In obvious underlying disease
  • Recurrent miscarriages

Tests
The primary tests involve Partial thromboplastin time (PTT), the LA-sensitive PTT (PTT-LA) or dilute Russell viper venom test (DRVVT). These tests tend to measure the time taken by the blood to clot. LA lengthens this time.

The follow-up tests are then carried out to check the presence of LA.

Sample: A blood sample