Antiphospholipid Syndrome : 30 Years On – Dr. Graham Hughes

Posted on: March 18, 2019
Last Updated: October 18, 2020

Professor Graham Hughes is a Consultant Rheumatologist and the founder and editor of the international journal ‘LUPUS,’ and Head of London Lupus Centre. In 1983 he described the clotting disorder now known as Hughes Syndrome for which he received the World Rheumatology (ILAR) Research Prize in 1993.

Author Quotes 

We became interested in a disease called ‘Jamaican Neuropathy’–an acute transverse myelitis. These women end up in wheelchairs with paraplegia, and they are interesting because they have a false positive VDRL and they are ANA positive.

If you take recurrent pregnancy loss, 12% of all cases. If you take stroke, 14%–if it’s young stokes, 25%.

Moving right forward now to modern treatment, not just warfarin and so on, but possible antibiologics–antibodies to some of the bad guys in this disease… and this is where we are at the moment, to see whether these in fact affect the clotting mechanism in this disease.


Professor Hughes begins his presentation with an overview of his Lupus Centre clinics and takes a look at the past, present, and what the future holds for antiphospholipid syndrome (APS).

He recounts his experiences over the years with patients and how studies of lupoid sclerosis led to setting up assays for antiphospholipid antibodies.

Continuing along the dateline, Prof Hughes describes the criteria thought to be important for the identification of anticardiolipin syndrome which led to the world’s first symposium on antiphospholipid antibodies.


Moving on to the present day, he covers the up-to-date literature statistics for pregnancy loss, stroke, heart attack, and DVT relating to APS. Discussing how the science has moved on, he demonstrates how antibodies are directed against phospholipid-binding proteins.

Concluding this video excerpt from his presentation, Prof Hughes discusses possible therapeutic targets for the future.

Take-home Messages

  1. Many case reports describe lupus with various clotting problems.
  2. Attendance numbers at the most recent international congress on antiphospholipid antibodies show increasing recognition and awareness among doctors.
  3. Beta-2 glycoprotein 1 removes cellular debris and is a very important molecule in the body.


Learn more

  1. Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) Case Files (Stroke and Thrombosis) By Prof Graham Hughes
  2. Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) Case Files (Gut, Tinnitus, and Migraine) – Prof Graham Hughes
  3. Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS): The Clinical Experience – Dr. Graham Hughes
  4. Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) Case Files (Stillbirths and Epilepsy) By Prof Graham Hughes
  5. Central Nervous System (CNS) Involvement in Antiphospholipid (Hughes) Syndrome – Prof Graham Hughes
  6. Clues to the Diagnosis of Antiphospholipid Syndrome – Prof Graham Hughes
  7. Neuropsychiatric Lupus and The Curious Case of Molly – What Does This Case Teach Us? – Prof Hughes
  8. Pathogenesis of Neuropsychiatric Systemic Lupus Erythematosus – Prof Graham Hughes
  9. What is Lupus? – Prof Graham Hughes
  10. Prof Graham Hughes Introduces You To The World of Lupus and Antiphospholipid Syndrome – Prof Graham Hughes
  11. APS and CNS Lupus: Anticoagulation Treatment By Prof Graham Hughes
  12. Neuropsychiatric Manifestations in APS By Prof Graham Hughes
  13. Q & A session on Lupus, Hughes Syndrome and the Brain – Prof Hughes