• Anticardiolipin antibodies;
  • recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA)

PROBLEM: The role of ACA in unexplained RSA is controversial. In the present study, diagnostic and prognostic aspects were investigated.

METHOD: One hundred five nonpregnant patients with primary, 29 with secondary RSA, and 209 controls were investigated for IgG-ACA. Follow-up studies were done during pregnancy in 76 individuals. IgM-ACA were tested in a subset of patients.

RESULTS: Elevated ACA levels were significantly more frequent in both patient groups (26 and 24%) than in controls (16%). However, there was no correlation of ACA with various parameters including pregnancy outcome. In ACA-positive patients with successful pregnancy a significant decrease of ACA values during pregnancy was observed, while ACA remained high in aborting patients. IgG- and IgM-ACA correlated well.

CONCLUSIONS: Although the data from nonpregnant RSA patients does not allow diagnostic or prognostic conclusions to be drawn, sequential testing of ACA-positive individuals provides the possibility to foresee pregnancy outcome.