Cardiolipin Antibodies Blood Test, IgA, IgG, and IgM
Tests for cardiolipin antibodies are frequently used to help determine the cause of:
- An unexplained blood clot (thrombotic episode)
- Recurrent miscarriages
- A prolonged result on the coagulation (clotting test) PTT (partial thromboplastin time); in this setting, the test is often ordered along with lupus anticoagulant testing (e.g., dilute Russell viper venom test, DRVVT)
If cardiolipin antibodies are detected on an initial test, then it is usually repeated 12 weeks later to help determine whether their presence is persistent or temporary. If a person with a known autoimmune disorder tests negative for cardiolipin antibodies, they may be retested later as these antibodies may develop at any time in the future.
Cardiolipin antibody testing is typically ordered as part of excessive clotting workup when an individual has symptoms suggestive of a blood clot (thrombotic episode), especially when they recur. Signs and symptoms vary, depending on the location of the clot.
If the clot is in the deep veins of the legs (deep vein thrombosis, DVT), a person may have symptoms such as:
- Leg pain or tenderness, usually in one leg
- Leg swelling, edema
- Discoloration of the leg
If the clot is affecting the lungs (pulmonary embolism), a person may have symptoms such as:
- Sudden shortness of breath, labored breathing
- Coughing, hemoptysis (blood present in sputum)
- Lung-related chest pain
- Rapid heart rate
A negative result means only that cardiolipin antibodies are not present or not present at a detectable level in the blood at the time of the test.
Moderate to high levels of cardiolipin antibodies that persist when tested again 12 weeks later indicate the likely continued presence of that specific antibody, which may be associated with an increased risk of excessive clotting or recurrent miscarriages.
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