In 111 lupus patients we compared the potential of the IgG and IgM anticardiolipin antibody (ACA) enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and four different lupus anticoagulant (LAC) assays (partial thromboplastin time (PTT) of a 1:1 mixture of patient and control plasma with phospholipids from animal (PTT-st) or human brain (PTT-HB); PTT with dilutions of human brain phospholipids (PL dilution); and kaolin clotting time of mixtures of patient and control plasma (KCT] to identify patients with thrombosis (26/111), fetal loss (19/46), and/or thrombocytopenia (11/106). The highest specificity for thrombosis (87%) was found with PTT-HB and PL dilution (sensitivity 65%, detection rate 61%); for fetal loss (93%) with PL dilution (sensitivity 47%; detection rate 82%), and for thrombocytopenia (83%) with KCT (sensitivity 82%; detection rate 36%). Compared with LAC assays, the sensitivity of ACA-ELISA was high (greater than or equal to 77%), but specificity (less than or equal to 51%) and detection rate (less than or equal to 52%) were low. So, a panel of three LAC assays (PTT-HB, PL dilution, and KCT) can identify lupus patients apparently at risk for thrombosis, fetal loss, and/or thrombocytopenia, whereas the ACA-ELISA is insufficiently specific.
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