Open Access
Original Article, Biomed Biopharm Res., 2022; 19(2):355-360
doi: 10.19277/bbr.19.2.292; PDF version here [+]Portuguese html version [PT] 


Antiphospholipid Syndrome (Clinical case)

Bruno Sousa 1,2,3         

1 School of Sciences and Health Technologies, Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, Lisboa, Portugal

2 CBIOS – Universidade Lusófona's Research Center for Biosciences and Health Technologies, Lisboa, Portugal

3 Health Service of Autonomous Region of Madeira, Madeira, Portugal

corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


40-year-old woman, unemployed. She sought Nutrition Consultation for nutritional control, as she was taking oral anticoagulant therapy. No other pathologies requiring nutritional therapy, but she wanted to lose a little weight.

She is followed in the Thrombophilia Consultation for Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) for mutation of the prothrombin gene in heterozygosity. She takes warfarin as an oral anticoagulant, with INR (International Normalized Ratio) control.


Keywords: International Normalized Ratio, nutritional intervention, vitamin K, Antiphospholipid Syndrome, warfarin

Received: 11/08/2022; Accepted: 30/10/2022


Anthropometric evaluation

Weight: 58.6 kg

Height: 157 cm

BMI: 23.8 kg/m2

Waist circumference: 76 cm

Body composition assessment (TANITA TBF 300®)

Body fat: 27.5%

Fat mass: 16.1 kg

Fat-free mass: 42.5 kg

Total body water: 31.1 kg

Analytical parameters


Leukocytes: 4.9 10^3/μL (4.2 – 10.8)

Erythrocytes: 4.83 10^6/μL (3.91 – 5.07)

Hemoglobin: 13.3g/dL (11.9 – 14.9)

Hematocrit: 38.9% (34.0 - 44.0)

Platelets: 226.0 10^3/μL (144 – 440)

Prothrombin time: 31.0 sec (9.4-12.5)

INR: 2.62 (0.9-1.2)

PTT seg: 43seg (25-37)

Fibrinogen: 217.0mg/dl (200.0 – 393.0)

Lupus antic. – Ratio: 0,99 (<=1,20)

Silica Clotting Time – Ratio: 0,99 (<=1.16)


Glucose: 96 mg/dL (74.0 - 106.0)

Urea: 17 mg/dL (16.6 – 48.5)

Creatinine: 0.61 mg/dL (0.50 – 0.90)

Sodium: 138.0 mEq/L (136 - 145)

Potassium: 3.90 mEq/L (3.5 – 5.10)

Chlorine: 102.0 mEq/L (98-107)

Total cholesterol: 178 mg/dL (<200.0)

HDL cholesterol: 56.0 mg/dL (>45.0)

LDL cholesterol: 99.4 mg/dL (<100.0)

Triglycerides: 113.0 mg/dL (<150.0)

Alanine Aminotransferase: 16.9 U/L (<=33)

Aspartate Aminotransferase: 15.0 U/L (<=32)

Gamaglutamyltransferase: 6.0 U/L (5.0 – 36.0)


Anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA): Negative

Screen ENA’s: 0.3 (<10)

Ac. Anti-dsDNA, IgG: 0.0 GPL/mL (<10)

Ac. Anti-cardiolipinas, IgG: 0.0 GPL/mL (<10)

Ac. Anti-cardiolipinas, IgM: 7.0 MPL/mL (<10)

Ac. Anti-Beta-2 Glicoproteína I, IgG: 0.0 UA/mL (<10)

Ac. Anti-Beta-2 Glicoproteína I, IgM: 11.4 UA/mL (<10)

Clinical evaluation

Personal background


- Prothrombin gene mutation in heterozygosity

- Repeat abortions (2nd trimester fetal death + abortion at 6th week of pregnancy)

- Has one 9 year old child and another four months old


Warfarin (variable - depending on INR)

Intestinal transit: regular

Eating habits

Wake up at 8 am

Breakfast: None


Lunch: 2 pm

Dish: Half a plate of white rice or pasta + meat or fish (120 g) + vegetables (about 100 g)

Dessert: 1 medium piece of fruit

Water to drink

Afternoon snack: 5 pm

1 medium piece of fruit

1 plain or flavoured yoghurt

4 tablespoons of oat flakes


Dinner: 8:30 pm

Identical to lunch

Goes to bed at 11 pm

Water consumption: approximately 1.5 litres per day

Alcohol habits: Sporadic use at parties

Smoking habits: Does not smoke

Environment, behaviour and social

She is married and lives with her husband and two children.

She spends most of her time at home, where she has most of her meals, but mentions that she also has some social gatherings, where the food offered is more diverse. On weekends, she has some meals in restaurants.

She likes sweets and mentions that she takes care with the preparation of food, opting for a healthy preparation.

She is sedentary, although she does go for some walks, but not routinely.


1.      What is Antiphospholipid Syndrome?

2.      What is the treatment for Antiphospholipid Syndrome?

3.      In cases where warfarin is the treatment, should there be restrictions on the intake of food rich in vitamin K?

4.      What is the role of the Nutritionist in these patients treated with warfarin?

5.      Is a diet rich in calcium important in the nutritional intervention for this syndrome?


The author wishes to express his thanks to the patient who allowed the elaboration of the case study.

Conflict of Interests

The author declares there are no financial and personal relationships that could present a potential conflict of interests.



1.    It is an autoimmune disease caused by autoantibodies directed against one or more proteins linked to phospholipids: lupus anticoagulant, anti-cardiolipin, or beta-2 glycoprotein I. The most frequent clinical manifestations include deep venous thrombosis of the lower limbs, pulmonary embolism, early and late spontaneous abortions, clinical features of arthritis, and migraine.

2.     For prophylaxis and treatment, anticoagulation is used: heparin, warfarin (except in pregnant women) or antiaggregation: acetylsalicylic acid. The choice of therapy depends on the clinical manifestations and the type of antibodies and obstetric morbidity.

3.    In these cases, the consumption of foods particularly rich in vitamin K is not forbidden, but must be moderate. The fundamental point is to maintain a balanced diet, constant over time, with no need for severe restrictions.

In patients with other pathologies that require dietary therapy and who benefit from an increased intake of fruit and vegetables, there is no justification for their restriction, as it is important for the treatment of the disease and to avoid micronutrient deficiencies, without influencing the control of hypocoagulation.

4.   The Nutritionist is very important in these situations and should play a very active role in monitoring patients from the beginning of this therapy. His or her intervention involves dietary education and the indication of an adequate diet, with a regular and daily content of vitamin K sources, to circumvent the effect of seasonality, and thus contribute to better stability of the anticoagulant therapy.

5.      A diet rich in calcium is also important, as these patients on heparin or warfarin have a higher risk of osteoporosis or osteopenia.



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