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*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-215
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 23 2012


  • Anticardiolipin
  • Antiphospholipid antibodies
  • APhl
  • Method comparison

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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