Postpartum spontaneous colonic perforation due to antiphospholipid syndrome

Ahmed, Kamran; Darakhshan, Amir; Au, Eleanor; Khamashta, Munther A.; Katsoulis, Iraklis E.
January 2009
World Journal of Gastroenterology;1/28/2009, Vol. 15 Issue 4, p502
Academic Journal
The antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is a multi-systemic disease being characterized by the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies that involves both arterial and venous systems resulting in arterial or venous thrombosis, fetal loss, thrombocytopenia, leg ulcers, livedo reticularis, chorea, and migraine. We document a previously unreported case of a 37-year-old female in whom APS was first manifested by infarction and cecal perforation following cesarean section. At laparotomy the underlying cause of colonic perforation was not clear and after resection of the affected bowel an ileo-colostomy was performed. The diagnosis of APS was established during post-operative hospital stay and the patient was commenced on warfarin. Eventually, she made a full recovery and had her stoma reversed after 4 mo. Pregnancy poses an increased risk of complications in women with APS and requires a more aggressive approach to the obstetric care. This should include full anticoagulation in the puerperium and frequent doppler ultrasound monitoring of uterine and umbilical arteries to detect complications such as preeclampsia and placental insufficiency.


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