Prevalence of anticardiolipin antibody in isolated mitral or aortic regurgitation, or both, and possible relation to cerebral ischemic events
Anticardiolipin antibodies (acLa) are associated with a thrombotic tendency (often involving cerebral ischemic events), are frequently present with systemic lupus erythematosus and have been found together with cardiac valve abnormalities. Previous studies evaluated patients characterized by the presence of acLa or lupus, precluding assessment of the frequency of acLa in those with valvular disease. This study aims to establish the prevalence of acLa in patients with valve disease in the absence of lupus and, furthermore, to determine the influence of acLa on the risk of cerebral events in valve disease. Eighty-seven consecutive patients with mitral or aortic regurgitation, or both, prospectively underwent enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay testing for immunoglobulin G (IgG) and M acLa, as did 24 normal subjects. AcLa values greater than or equal to 3 SD above the normal mean were considered "positive." Prior cerebral events were defined retrospectively. Of 87 patients with valvular disease, 26 had positive IgG acLa levels compared with 0 of 24 normal subjects (p less than 0.01). AcLa values did not vary with valve disease etiology. Focal cerebral events had occurred in 8 patients and were embolic or probably embolic in 7, including 7 of 26 IgG acLa-positive and 1 of 60 IgG acLa-negative patients (p less than 0.001). In the absence of lupus, IgG acLa is highly prevalent among patients with aortic or mitral regurgitation, or both; this association may indicate a relatively high risk for cerebral emboli.