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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Detecting and Evaluating Coagulation Inhibitors and Factor Deficiencies. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Anti Phospholipid Antibodies (Lupus Anticoagulant)

Introduction: Coagulation Inhibitors

As the name implies, coagulation inhibitors (also called circulating anticoagulants) interfere with normal blood coagulation. Coagulation inhibitors may be congenital or acquired (developing in patients during the course of a disease) and are almost always immunoglobulins, either IgG, IgM or IgA. There are two types of inhibitors: those directed toward a coagulation factor (or multiple factors) and the lupus anticoagulant.
Lupus anticoagulant is one of the more commonly encountered coagulation inhibitors. It is also known as antiphospholipid antibody because it is directed toward phospholipids. Antiphospholipid antibodies bind a variety of protein-phospholipid complexes and because of this are sometimes referred to as nonspecific inhibitors. Lupus anticoagulant is usually an IgG antibody. It differs from factor-specific inhibitors in that lupus anticoagulant causes thrombosis and abnormal clotting while factor-specific inhibitors cause serious bleeding.