Lupus anticoagulant test
Lupus anticoagulant (LA) is a set of autoantibodies produced by the immune system, which do not recognize certain components of the body’s own cells (phospholipids, phospholipid-linked proteins) and wrongly attack them. The antibodies thus interfere with the blood clotting process. The patient is therefore more likely to develop a blood clot in their body. The lupus anticoagulant was first detected in patients with lupus disease.
What is the purpose of the test?
The test helps uncover what lies in the background of blood clot formation and what may cause recurrent miscarriages, and provides a basis for evaluating APTT (activated partial thromboplastin time).
In which cases is it recommended to perform the test?
In case of symptoms or complaints suggestive of blood clots (arterial/venous) and the occurrence of multiple miscarriages.
What sample is needed for the test?
A blood sample taken from a vein is needed for the test.
What can the result indicate?
The test result indicates the absence or presence of lupus anticoagulant.
The presence of LA in the body can also be inferred from prolonged APTT (activated partial thromboplastin time). In a patient with normal APTT, LA is not present.
However, to make an accurate diagnosis of LA, testing of coagulation factors as well as a complete blood count may be performed in addition to the test. In case pf a complete blood count, if we have a low platelet count, the diagnosis is confirmed, as the lupus anticoagulant is often accompanied by a low platelet count.
What to do after the test?
The test in itself is not yet a diagnosis. Detection of lupus anticoagulant is sometimes recommended in combination with other tests. In many cases, one test is not enough to make an accurate diagnosis.
In all cases, please consult the specialist who ordered the test or a doctor with experience in coagulation disorders.