Treatment of refractory obstetric antiphospholipid syndrome: The state of the art and new trends in the therapeutic management

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Objective: To date, there are no reliable data regarding the actual treatment received by women with refractory obstetric antiphospholipid syndrome (OAPS). The aim of this study was to assess current clinical evidence and new trends in the treatment of refractory OAPS. Methods: A non-systematic but comprehensive literature search using relevant keywords was made to identify relevant articles published in English from different computerized databases: PubMed (Medline), Google Scholar electronic database search and The Cochrane Library, from January 2000 to March 2012. Studies on the treatment of poor obstetric outcomes in women with OAPS were included. Prospective randomized clinical trials, cohort studies, reviews, systematic reviews and meta-analysis were retrieved. Results: A total of 130 articles were finally selected for this review, including 17 randomized clinical trials and four meta-analyses. The majority of articles were non-randomized original papers and basic and clinical reviews. Conclusion: Up to 20% of women with OAPS do not receive the currently recommended therapeutic regimen. Unfortunately, well-designed studies regarding the usefulness of new drugs in refractory OAPS are scarce. Hydroxychloroquine and low-dose prednisolone appear to be useful when added to standard therapy. Current data do not support the use of intravenous immunoglobulins in this field. The role played by double antiaggregant therapy, fondaparinux, vitamin D, pentoxifylline and TNF-targeted therapies should be tested in well-designed studies. © The Author(s), 2012.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Antiphospholipid antibody
  • complement activation
  • obstetric antiphospholipid syndrome
  • obstetric morbidity
  • refractory
  • treatment


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