The authors report a rare case of a female patient with mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) with coexisting antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). Five years after the diagnosis of MCTD high concentrations of anticardiolipin (anti-CL) and anti-b2-glycoprotein (antib2GPI) autoantibodies were present in the patient's serum without thrombotic events. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) reactivation provoked APS, with the clinical manifestations of livedo reticularis, digital gangrene and leg ulcers. Skin biopsy from the necrotic area showed multiple fibrin microthrombi in the superficial vessels. Corticosteroid pulse therapy, and plasma exchange in combination with synchronized cyclophosphamide was administered, which led to improvement of the digital gangrenes, while no new lesions developed. The number of CD27high plasma cells decreased, and the previous high levels of autoantibodies also normalized in the peripheral blood. In the case of MCTD with coexisting APS combination therapy, including plasmapheresis has beneficial effects.
- Antiphospholipid syndrome
- Mixed connective tissue disease
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