The prevalence of lupus anticoagulant, using the dilute Russell's viper venom time (DRVT), was determined in 22 patients with mild to severe haemophilia A to see if there was any association with the presence of viral disease. Twelve haemophiliacs (58%) were lupus anticoagulant positive, with a mean patient:control ratio of 1.24 (range 1.15-1.52, normal range 0.84-1.06 which partially corrected with lysed, washed platelets). Nine of these patients were IgG or IgM, or both, anticardiolipin antibody positive and nine were human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody positive, but associations between lupus anticoagulant, anticardiolipin antibodies, and HIV antibody positivity were not significant. Mixing studies of normal plasma and immune depleted factor VIII deficient plasma showed that the DRVT ratio increased when the factor VIII concentration fell below 0.15 IU/ml. There was no significant association between plasma factor VIII concentration and positive DRVT results in haemophiliacs. The addition of porcine factor VIII concentrate produced no correction in eight of the 12 with DRVTs indicative of lupus anticoagulant, suggesting that these were prolonged by antiphospholipid activity. It is concluded that the presence of lupus anticoagulant and anticardiolipin antibodies in haemophiliacs may represent an antiphospholipid response to viraemic challenge, not only to HIV but also to other viral antigens, and that a very low factor VIII concentration may produce a false positive DRVT result.
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