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My syphilis test was positive and I was flabbergasted. After more tests the doctors discovered it was a mistake caused by antiphospholipid antibodies. What exactly are those antiphospholipid antibodies, what is their function and are they dangerous? Of course I’m happy I don’t have syphilis, but can this be worse?

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The presence of antiphospholipid antibodies in your blood indicates a disorder of your immune system called antiphospholipid syndrome. There are 23 types of antiphospholipid antibodies and some of them can, for example, make syphilis test falsely positive - that is VDRL/RPR type. Other types cause excessive clotting of blood in your arteries (thrombosis) and veins (phlebitis), miscarriages, migraine, transverse myelitis - one form of inflammation of the nervous tissue, thrombocytopenia - very low number of platelets in the blood etc. These antibodies are even associated with some progressive memory problems. On the other hand, it is possible that a completely healthy person has these antibodies - the cause of their appearance is not known. It is most likely that the antibodies in your case appeared after bacterial, viral or parasite infections. They are also found in healthy persons after taking certain substances such as antibiotics, cocaine, hydralazine, quinine etc. No treatment is necessary, but you talk to your doctor if you notice any signs of worsening of your overall condition or if you are pregnant or (intend to) become pregnant.
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I was diagnosed with APS by a neurologist about a 1-1/2 years ago. However, over 25 years ago, a doctor thought I might have lupus, but did not tell me about the antibodies. I am now on Warfarin, as I had 3 cerebral anuryesms coiled (Feb & Mar 2007), and I am checked for Chromagenic (spell??) Factor 10. My sister, who had MS, had a blood clot & it turned out that she, too, had APS, not Lupus. I know that clinical trials with regard to genetics & APS took place this year.

I did not know there are 23 types of these antibodies. I was told that I am on Warfarin to prevent blood clots. I would like to know more about the 23 types & how the type is diagnosed. Look forward to your response
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