Factor H autoantibodies in patients with antiphospholipid syndrome and thrombosis

Anna Foltyn Zadura, Ashfaque A. Memon, Ljudmila Stojanovich, Carlo Perricone, Fabrizio Conti, Guido Valesini, Gordana Bogdanovic, Andreas Hillarp, Yehuda Shoenfeld, Jan Sundquist, Jonatan Leffler, Peter J. Svensson, Leendert A. Trouw, Anna M. Blom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective.Autoantibodies to complement factor H (FH) are associated with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, but can also be detected in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and in patients positive for lupus anticoagulants and thus potentially antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). To our knowledge, no data are available on the association between the presence of FH autoantibodies in APS and clinical manifestations. Methods. We determined FH autoantibody levels using ELISA in 2 cohorts of patients with primary (PAPS) and secondary APS (SAPS) from Serbia and Italy, and an additional cohort including patients with venous thromboembolism (VTE) from Sweden. Results. FH autoantibodies were detected in 13.7% of patients (n = 73) with PAPS and 30.3% of patients (n = 33) with SAPS in the Serbian cohort. FH autoantibody frequency in the Italian cohort was 33.3% (n = 15) and 36% (n = 25) in PAPS and SAPS, respectively. Both FH autoantibody levels and frequencies observed in both APS cohorts were significantly higher than in matched healthy controls (5%). Further, patients with PAPS with venous thrombosis in the Serbian cohort had significantly higher levels of FH autoantibodies. Therefore, we analyzed a dedicated Swedish thrombosis cohort and found that patients with FH autoantibody positivity had higher risk of VTE recurrence (HR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2-3.3, p = 0.011) compared with the reference group of FH autoantibody-negative patients. Conclusion. Overall, the data indicate that in patients with APS and recurrent venous thrombosis, there are increased levels of FH autoantibodies, a finding associated with poor clinical outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1786-1793
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Antiphospholipid antibodies
  • Antiphospholipid syndrome
  • Deep venous thrombosis
  • FH autoantibodies
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Thrombosis


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