, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 178-183
Date: 26 Jun 2007

The Heart and APS

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The heart is a target organ in antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). Endocardial disease, intracardiac thrombosis, myocardial involvement including coronary heart disease and microvascular thrombosis, as well as pulmonary hypertension have all been described in APS patients. Valvular involvement is the most common manifestation with a prevalence of 82% detected by transesophageal echocardiography. Symmetrical, nodular thickening of the mitral and/or aortic valves is characteristic. Anticoagulant/antiplatelet treatment is ineffective in terms of valvular lesion regression. Some patients require cardiac valve replacement. However, patients with APS have shown an increased perioperative morbidity and mortality. Intracardiac thrombosis, although a rare complication, can cause pulmonary and systemic emboli. Differential diagnosis with myxoma may be very difficult.