ANTI PHOSPHOLIPID IgM

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Testing for Phospholipid antibodies is indicated in cases of unexplained arterial/venous thrombosis, pregnancy with unexplained fetal deaths, spontaneous abortions, presence of unexplained cutaneous circulatory disturbance like Live do reticularis and presence of Systemic rheumatic disease like LE. This test is also used in cases of unexplained thrombocytopenia, Hemolytic. The human body is made up of cells. Each and every cell of our body is surrounded by a cell membrane. The membrane has phospholipids in it. These phospholipids play an important role in maintaining cell functions. They allow movements of substances in and out of the cells. In certain conditions, our body starts producing antibodies against these phospholipids. The phospholipid antibodies attack the phospholipids and disrupt cell function. This is seen in a medical condition, antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). The APS is an auto-immune disorder that means the immune system mistakenly destroys its body cells by making antibodies against them. Different types of antibodies are developed against phospholipids. Among them, the major antibodies are- Anti-cardiolipin, Beta-2 glycoprotein 1 antibody and Lupus anticoagulants. The antiphospholipid test measures the antibodies against phospholipids present in the blood. There are three subclasses of these antibodies- IgG, IgM and IgA. Antiphospholipid IgG and antiphospholipid IgM are more commonly tested. The antiphospholipid IgM test is done to measure the IgM subclass of phospholipid antibodies. These phospholipid antibodies prevent the proper flow of blood. This results in the formation of blood clots. The blood clots, through the blood circulation, can be carried to the lungs, heart, kidney or brain. They can cause stroke, heart attacks, pulmonary embolisms, kidney damage and miscarriages. Symptoms of antiphospholipid vary as they depend on the organ that is affected by the blood clots. Major symptoms that indicate the formation of anti-phospholipids in the body are shortness of breath, migraine, persistent headache, heart attack, frequent unexplained blood clots, recurrent miscarriages and stillbirth. The APS is seen associated with genes, infections like syphilis, HIV, certain medications like penicillin and phenytoin and auto-immune diseases like Lupus Erythematosus. As per the studies, the prevalence of antiphospholipid syndrome varies in different geographical regions. It is affected by ethnic differences and genetics. It is more common in the African region than in the Asia and Indian subcontinent. These antibodies can affect both men and women, but it is most commonly seen in women and elderly people. The disease can be life-threatening and its diagnosis followed by the proper medical treatment is important.

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