Sticky Blood-Hughes Syndrome Support
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Atherosclerosis and Hughes Syndrome??

I found out last week that I have atherosclerosis too now in the carotid arteries. Seems like this is connected with Hughes/APS. Does anyone here have atherosclerosis? and what has your experience been with it?

I will see a specialist soon...but have to get past all the other problems first.

I have been doing some reading and here are a couple of links I have found.

8 Replies

Hate to see a question unanswered so just sending you a hug to help you on your journey. Hopefully with diagnosis comes some helpful treatment and relief.


aw...thanks Tassie. That was really sweet...hug accepted!


I suspect that I have something like that. How were you tested and what specialist are you seeing next I wonder?

I have a line of what feels like barbed wire running from the back side of my head on the left and down over the shoulder (also, down back and under armpit). Also, my left arm is constantly cold although it warms up during the day.

Does anything relieve your symptoms? Heat, relaxation, higher INR (if on Warfarin)?

I inject Heparin when my INR dips and I have symptoms and it often helps so I suspect it is APS would be good to know for sure (hate all this personal guesswork!).

Best wishes



Hi E...

I had a carotid doppler ultrasound and that is how it was found. I had lost my vision temporarily in one eye about three weeks ago and the doc ordered it for that. I will see a cardiologist and a vascular doctor...have one appt and waiting on the other.

With all the symptoms I have (and most of us have alot) I wouldnt have known that I had this. They say that one usually has no idea until you have a complete occlusion or a stroke and then they find it.

This is an exerpt from WebMD about symptoms:

What are the symptoms of atherosclerosis?

There are three serious diseases caused by atherosclerosis. Each has its own warning signs:

Coronary artery disease: The warning sign for atherosclerosis in the heart is chest pain on exertion, or angina. It's often described as tightness and goes away with rest.

Cerebrovascular disease: Often, a transient ischemic attack (TIA) may happen before a stroke. Difficulty speaking or weakness on one side are symptoms of both strokes and TIAs. The difference: in a TIA, the symptoms go away, usually within an hour, and do not leave permanent brain injury.

Peripheral arterial disease: The legs usually show symptoms of poor circulation first. Pain in the calf muscles when walking (claudication) is the most common symptom. Poor wound healing or decreased pulses in the feet are other signs.

You shouldn't rely on these signs of atherosclerosis, though. By the time symptoms like these show themselves, serious blockages are already present. Also, heart attacks and strokes can occur without any previous warning signs.

I keep reading the connection is strong with APS and AT (artherosclerosis)

I feel fortunate to have found out this way. Even though my cholesterol is not high...actually quite good...I can now change my eating habits in hopes that it will help slow it down. My father had this problem as well, when he was in his late 50's he had to have replacement of some of his I am somewhat predisposed I imagine. Then add APS and here is have it.

Good Luck to you...



as you see too, those symptoms of AT are similar to symptoms we can have with who would know.

I have been on Coumadin for 12 years and in 2004 I had the same test that came out perfectly ok. So in the past 8 years this has blown up.

I think about all of my brain changes...inbalance...everything. How can one tell which thing is causing it?

I just started Fragmin instead of Coumadin. I am not sure what is going to happen with this yet.


Sorry to hear about recent events but as you say, it has got to be good that you have found out about it.

I too had an ultrasound on arteries leading from left side of neck across shoulder (?) but nothing came up. However, I do feel better when I take Fragmin so very interested to know how you get on. I have been so unstable on Warfarin despite self testing and managing diet, stress etc... doesn't feel like it really helps me at all sometimes.

We need to know as much as we can don't we but then it isn't always easy to get to the bottom of symptoms..

Best of luck with the specialist, will look out for progress report...



I had to have a cardiac by-pass operation in 2007. I have been a fit guy and used to race bikes and I still cycle for pleasure. Prof Hughes told me that he thought that the stenosis was probably caused by APS inflaming the coronary arteries and making a focus for plaque to build up.

We seem condemed whatever way we turn, grrrrrr.

Best wishes to all.



Increased carotid artery intima-media thickness may be associated with stroke in primary antiphospholipid syndrome

G Medina1,

D Casaos2,

L J Jara3,

O Vera-Lastra4,

M Fuentes2,

L Barile5,

M Salas6


Objective: To investigate the prevalence and clinical significance of carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) in patients with primary antiphospholipid syndrome (APS).

Methods: 28 patients with primary APS with at least a five year follow up, and 28 healthy subjects, matched by age and sex, were included in the study. Colour Doppler with high resolution B mode carotid ultrasonography and spectral analysis were performed in patients and controls. Information on cardiovascular risk factors and the clinical course were collected.

Results: The mean (SD) age of patients and controls (12 male, 16 female in each group) was 40 (8.5) years; the mean (SD) disease duration 7.7 (3) years. Carotid artery IMT was found in 23/28 patients (2.6 (1.14) mm) and 7/28 controls (1.2 (0.44)) (p=0.0001). A decrease in the lumen diameter was also found in 11/28 patients with primary APS without carotid atherosclerotic plaque, and 2/28 controls (p=0.004). Hyperlipidaemia, diabetes, smoking, obesity, and hypertension were not associated with carotid artery IMT. Patients with carotid artery IMT had arterial vascular disease more often than patients without: 9/23 v 0/5 (p<0.009). These patients had stroke (seven patients), myocardial infarction (one), and mesenteric thrombosis (one). Subjects with IMT had a threefold higher risk for stroke than those without IMT (95% CI 0.78 to 14.3).

Conclusions: Patients with primary APS have a high prevalence of carotid artery IMT and a decreased lumen diameter. IMT in primary APS may be associated with stroke. Patients with primary APS with IMT must be considered as carriers of atherosclerosis.


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