Prevalence of Anti-cardiolipin, Anti-β2 Glycoprotein I, and Anti-prothrombin Antibodies in Young Patients with Epilepsy


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. R. Cimaz at Department of Pediatrics, Via Commenda 9, 20122 Milano, Italy. E-mail:


Summary:  Purpose: To measure anti-cardiolipin (aCL), anti-β2 glycoprotein I (anti-β2GPI), and anti-prothrombin (aPT) antibodies in young patients with epilepsy, and to correlate their presence with demographic data, clinical diagnoses, laboratory and neuroradiologic findings, and antiepileptic drugs (AEDs).

Methods: Sera from one hundred forty-two consecutive patients with epilepsy with a median age of 10 years were tested for aCL and anti-β2GPI autoantibodies by solid-phase assays. aPT antibodies also were assayed in sera from 90 patients. Positive results were confirmed after a minimum of 6 weeks. Antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) and antibodies against extractable nuclear antigens (ENAs) also were tested.

Results: An overall positivity of 41 (28.8%) of 142 sera was found. Fifteen patients were positive for aCL, 25 for anti-β2GPI, and 18 for aPT antibodies. Several patients (12%) displayed more than one specificity in their serum. Only one of these patients had a concurrent positivity for ANAs and ENAs. A predominance of younger patients was found in the antibody-positive group. All types of epilepsy were represented in the positive group. No relation between antibody positivity and AEDs was found. Diffuse ischemic lesions at computed tomography (CT)/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were present in higher percentages in patients who were antibody positive. No positive patient had a history of previous thrombosis or other features related to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and no patient was born of a mother with SLE.

Conclusions: Our study suggests a relation between epilepsy and aPL in young patients. A pathogenetic role for these autoantibodies cannot be excluded, and their determination might prove useful even from a therapeutic point of view.