I had a stroke, is it because of lupus?

It's rare. A stroke related to a clot clogging an artery in the brain (thrombosis) can complicate lupus. This thrombosis usually reveals an antiphospholipid syndrome associated with lupus, but also a possible accelerated atherosclerosis (development of an atheroma plaque that can detach and clog an artery in the brain). The prevention of relapses is based on prolonged anticoagulant treatment aimed at an INR (international normalized ratio) between 2 and 3, or even between 3 and 3.5 in the context of antiphospholipid syndrome.

If this stroke is due to atherosclerosis, it will be managed like a regular stroke, targeting vascular risk factors and the prescription of anti-aggregant agents. It is sometimes difficult to tell the difference with the stroke that can affect the general population (complication of atherosclerosis).


A stroke can complicate lupus, but it's quite rare. It may reveal an antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS) and then justify prolonged anticoagulant treatment, or it can be part of a complication of accelerated atherosclerosis observed during lupus.

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