The importance of a prothrombotic state as a cause of ischemic stroke in young adults is ill defined. We examined 46 unselected patients under age 50 years with cerebral ischemia for anticardiolipin antibody (aCL) and lupus anticoagulants (LA), over a 3-year period. Age- and sex-matched patients with other neurologic diseases served as a noncerebral ischemia comparison group to test whether (1) stroke/transient ischemic attacks (TIA) in young people is associated with aCL and/or LA, and (2) their presence is specific to cerebral ischemia. In the stroke/TIA group, 21 patients had aCL or LA and 25 had neither, whereas in the control group, 2 patients had aCL and 24 had neither. Equal numbers of stroke/TIA patients with and without antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) had other stroke risk factors. Patients with aPL and cerebral ischemia, however, had a more frequent history of multiple events than those without them. These antibodies occur with undue frequency in young patients with stroke/TIA and are not associated with a concurrent diagnosis of systemic lupus in most cases. A coexistent aPL- associated prothrombotic state may be a key determinant of whether patients with atherosclerosis, mitral valve prolapse, or other structural lesions experience recurrent ischemia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology