Activated protein C resistance (APCR) in the absence of alterations in the factor V gene has been observed during pregnancy, in patients on oral contraceptives, in the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies, and in patients with ischemic stroke. We report a 49-year-old woman with recurrent major venous and arterial thromboses who displayed pronounced APCR, yet no changes in the activated protein C (APC) cleavage sites of factor V. The APCR values determined by four different assays were similar to those obtained in plasma from a homozygote for factor V Q506. Addition of IgG isolated from the patient's serum to normal plasma lowered the APCR ratio from 2.4 to 1.6. Incubation of patient's IgG with normal APC resulted in a profound change in the mobility of APC in crossed immunoelectrophoresis. APC was also shown to bind to patient's IgG immobilized on a protein A agarose column. Factor Va inactivation by APC was inhibited by patient's IgG, but not by control IgG in the presence or absence of either phospholipids or protein S. These results provide evidence for the existence of an acquired antibody against APC in the patient's plasma, which gave rise to the APCR phenotype and was probably responsible for the major thrombotic events. We suggest that acquired APCR due to anti-APC antibodies be considered a potential cause for severe venous and arterial thromboses.
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|Published - 1 Aug 1999