Powered by


                    Home  |  Forums  |  Humor  |  Advertising  |  Contact
   Ask a Doctor

   News via RSS







   Forum Archives





















   Primary Care






   Other Sections


   Research Tools

   Medical Tutorials

   Medical Software




Von Willebrand disease

Von Willebrand's disease (vWD) is a hereditary coagulation abnormality that arises from a deficiency of von Willebrand factor (vWF), a substance that affects platelet adhesion. It is known to affect humans and, in veterinarian medicine, dogs.


vWD is named after Erik Adolf von Willebrand, a Finnish internist (1870-1949). He first described the disease in 1926.


In humans, the incidence of vWD is roughly about 1 in 1000 individuals. Because most forms are rather mild, they are detected more often in women, whose bleeding tendency shows during menstruation.

advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)

Are you a doctor or a nurse?

Do you want to join the Doctors Lounge online medical community?

Participate in editorial activities (publish, peer review, edit) and give a helping hand to the largest online community of patients.

Click on the link below to see the requirements:

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Bleeding tendency

Type I vWD patients have clearly impaired clotting but usually end up leading a nearly normal life (trouble usually arises in the form of dental surgery or troublesome menorrhagia/periods). Type III is the most severe form of vWD and may have severe mucosal bleeding, no detectable vWF antigen, and/or may have sufficiently low factor VIII that they have occasional hemarthoses like mild hemophiliacs.


There are three described types of vWD - type I, type II and type III, of which type I and II are inherited as autosomal dominant traits and type III is inherited as autosomal recessive.
Although very rare, acquired forms of vWD have been described. A form of vWD (type 2A) occurs in patients with aortic valve stenosis, leading to gastrointestinal bleeding (Heyde's syndrome).


Patients with vWD normally require no regular treatment. However, they are always at increased risk for bleeding. Prophylactic treatment is sometimes given for patients with vWD who are scheduled for surgery. They can be treated with cyroprecipitate or with Factor VIII. Mild cases of vWD can be trialled on 1-desamino-8-D-arginine vasopressin (DDAVP, desmopressin), which works by raising the patient's own plasma levels of vWF.

previous.gif (72x17 -- 347 bytes) next.gif (72x17 -- 277 bytes)

 advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)



We subscribe to the HONcode principles of the HON Foundation. Click to verify.
We subscribe to the HONcode principles. Verify here

Privacy Statement | Terms & Conditions | Editorial Board | About us
Copyright 2001-2012 DoctorsLounge. All rights reserved.