Recognition of the Antiphospholipid Syndrome evolved over several decades, but unquestionably, the most exciting period was the decade between 1980 and 1990.
The origins of the syndrome dated back to the discoveries of the lupus anticoagulant by Conley and Hartmann in 1953, recognition of the association between the Biological False Positive Test for Syphilis (BFP-STS) and autoimmune diseases by Moore and Mohr in the 1950s. Subsequent investigators recognized over the next two decades that many patients with the lupus anticoagulant frequently had BFP-STS (much of this early history is summarized in my earliest review of the subject-Harris et al, Clinics in Rheumatic Diseases,1985;11:591-609)
Initially, the lupus anticoagulant was thought to cause bleeding, but in 1964, Walter Bowie and colleagues reported a paradoxical association with thrombosis. The observation was extended by Johansson and colleagues in 1974, who recognized an association between the presence of lupus anticoagulant, a BFP-STS and thrombosis in patients with Systematic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). In 1975, Nilsson and colleagues reported an association of the lupus anticoagulant and intrauterine fetal death.