Article Text

THU0561 Clinical practice guideline for diagnosis and management of catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome
  1. K Legault1,
  2. C Hillis1,
  3. C Yeung1,
  4. A Iorio1,
  5. M Crowther1,
  6. E Akl2,
  7. M Carrier3,
  8. R Cervera4,
  9. F Dentali5,
  10. D Erkan6,
  11. G Espinosa7,
  12. M Khamashta8,
  13. J Meerpohl9,
  14. K Moffat10,
  15. S O'Brien11,
  16. V Pengo12,
  17. J Rand13,
  18. I Rodriguez Pinto7,
  19. L Thom14,
  20. H Schunemann1
  1. 1McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
  2. 2American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
  3. 3University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
  4. 4University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  5. 5Insubria University, Insubria, Italy
  6. 6Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, United States
  7. 7Barcelona Hospital Clinic, Barcelona, Spain
  8. 8King's College London, London, United Kingdom
  9. 9University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
  10. 10Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton, Canada
  11. 11Nationwide Children's, Columbus, United States
  12. 12University of Padova, Padua, Italy
  13. 13NY Presbyterian Hospital, New York, United States
  14. 14None, Oxford, United Kingdom


Background Catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome (CAPS) is characterized by the rapid onset of widespread or multifocal large and/or small vessel thrombosis associated with multi-organ failure in patients meeting the serological criteria for antiphospholipid syndrome [1]. Mortality in CAPS approaches 50% [2].

Objectives The RARE-BestPractices project group identified CAPS as a rare disease condition of interest in which to develop a clinical practice guideline. The project was run in partnership with McMaster University, and used the GIN-McMaster Guideline Development checklist and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology to develop guidelines on rare diseases [3].

Methods The CAPS guideline was coordinated by a steering committee including representatives from RARE-BP and methodologists from McMaster University. The CAPS guideline panel consisted of 19 international members, including patient representation. The panel used the GradePro software to brainstorm and prioritize potential questions and outcomes. Systematic reviews were performed for each question. To supplement the published evidence, we compiled raw data for mortality from the CAPS Registry, and systematically elicited expert opinion from the panel members using a systematic observation form. For each question an evidence profile and evidence to decision table was generated and shared.

Results The question prioritization step generated 47 questions, which were ranked to identify the top priorities. The top 10 questions were chosen for guideline development, yielding 7 therapy and 3 diagnostic questions. The outcome generation step yielded 7 outcomes.

The questions were addressed during an in-person panel meeting, held on April 27, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain, with follow-up via webinar on June 3, 2016, and with web-based voting completed July 31, 2016.

Recommendations were developed for all questions and will be discussed in detail.

Conclusions Ten recommendations were issued by the CAPS Guideline Panel to assist clinicians in diagnosis and management of suspected CAPS patients. Future research is needed to improve evidence quality in rare diseases such as CAPS. The GIN-McMaster Guideline Development Checklist and the GRADE methodology were effective in producing a rigorous guideline in this rare disease.


  1. Asherson R. The catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome. J Rheumatol 1992.

  2. Cervera R, Bucciarelli S, Plasín M, et al. Catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome (CAPS): descriptive analysis of a series of 280 patients from the “CAPS Registry”. J Autoimmun 2009;32:240–5.

  3. Guyatt G, Oxman A, Vist G, et al. GRADE: an emerging consensus on rating quality of evidence and strength of recommendations. BMJ 2008;336:924–6.


Disclosure of Interest None declared

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