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Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2012;5(3):210-215

Original Article
APhL antibody ELISA as an alternative to anticardiolipin test for the diagnosis of
antiphospholipid syndrome

Brenda B Suh-Lailam, Anndorie Cromar, K Wayne Davis, Anne E Tebo

ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology, Salt Lake City, UT, United States; Department of Pathology, University of Utah School of
Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Received January 21, 2012; accepted March 6, 2012; Epub March 25, 2012; Published March 30, 2012

Abstract: Background: Persistent levels of antiphospholipid (aPL) antibodies [lupus anticoagulant (LA), anticardiolipin (aCL), anti-beta 2
glycoprotein I (aβ2GPI) IgG and/or IgM] in association with clinical features of thrombosis and/or pregnancy associated morbidity are indicative
of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). Of the aPL antibodies, aCL is the most sensitive for APS, however, their lack of specificity constitute a
laboratory and clinical challenge. IgG/IgM antibodies directed against APhL (a mixture of phospholipids) has been reported to predict APS more
reliably than aCL tests. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the performance characteristics of the APhL IgG/IgM ELISA, relative to
the aCL and aβ2GPI tests. Methods: Sixteen (16) clinically confirmed APS and 85 previously tested serum (PTS) samples for aCL and aβ2GPI
IgG/IgM antibodies were evaluated with the APhL IgG/IgM ELISA. Clinical specificity was determined in 100 serum samples (50 healthy and 50
infectious disease controls [parvo- and syphilis-IgG/IgM positive]). Results: The IgG antibody prevalence for aCL and APhL in the APS and PST
groups was comparable with marginal differences in clinical specificities. In contrast to the aCL IgM ELISA, the APhL test showed improved
clinical specificities (72% aCL vs 94% APhL in the healthy controls; 38% aCL vs 78% APhL in the infectious disease controls) with implications
for increased reliability in the diagnosis of APS. The overall agreement of the APhL with the aCL or aβ2GPI for the IgG tests was 89% and 85%
respectively, and that of the APhL IgM to the aCL or aβ2GPI IgM tests was 72% and 86% respectively. Conclusion: Routine use of the APhL
IgG/IgM ELISA may substantially reduce the high number of false positives associated with the aCL test without loss in sensitivity for APS.

Keywords: Anticardiolipin, APhL, antiphospholipid antibodies, method comparison

Address all correspondence to:
Dr. Anne E. Tebo
ARUP Laboratories
500 Chipeta Way, Salt Lake City
UT 84108, USA.
Tel: +1 801 583 2787 x3138; Fax: +1 801 584 5207
E-mail: anne.tebo@aruplab.com