Hughes' syndromeAn autoimmune condition caused by an antibody to phospholipid, a major constituent of cell plasma membranes, or an antibody to cardiolipin. It features recurrent thromboses causing strokes, heart attacks and other arterial obstruction effects, or recurrent fetal loss during pregnancy. Other features include renal artery stenosis, avascular necrosis of bone, heart valve disease, metatarsal fractures and systemic lupus erythematosus or a lupus-like disease. Antiphospholipid antibodies are believed to accelerate atheroma by interacting with low-density lipoproteins (LDLs). They can also occur as drug reactions or in certain infectious diseases. There is commonly an abnormally low level of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). Also known as the antiphospholipid syndrome. (Graham Hughes, who described the syndrome in 1983).
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005