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Semin Thromb Hemost. 2006 Sep;32(6):626-35.

Comparative analysis and classification of von Willebrand factor/factor VIII concentrates: impact on treatment of patients with von Willebrand disease.

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  • 1Coagulation Laboratory, Laboratory Association Prof. Arndt and Partners, Hamburg, Germany.


von Willebrand disease (vWD) is a bleeding disorder that results from defects in the quality or quantity of von Willebrand factor (vWF), a glycoprotein essential for normal thrombus formation. vWF circulates in plasma as multimers in sizes ranging up to 20,000 kd. The high molecular weight vWF (HMWvWF) multimers are most essential for primary hemostasis, whereas the lower molecular weight multimers are less functionally active. For many patients, the treatment of choice is factor replacement with a vWF/FVIII concentrate, preferably one with a high content of HMWvWF multimers. Given that the commercially available vWF/FVIII concentrates seem to differ substantially in their biochemical properties as well as in their clinical efficacy, we did a comparative study with 12 vWF/FVIII concentrates to investigate content and activities of FVIII and vWF, as well as the content of HMWvWF multimers. The content of HMWvWF multimers varied considerably among the 12 concentrates. The specific vWF activities, as assessed by ristocetin cofactor activity (vWF:RCo) and collagen-binding activity (vWF:CB), correlated well with the HMWvWF content of the products. Of the products tested, Haemate P/Humate-P had the highest content of HMWvWF multimers (with a multimer pattern closest to that of normal human plasma), the highest specific vWF activities, and the highest values of vWF:RCo and vWF:CB per unit of FVIII:coagulant (C). The goal of bleeding prophylaxis and treatment in type 2, severe type 1, and type 3 vWD patients is to normalize vWF activities (vWF:RCo and vWF:CB) and FVIII:C preferentially by vWF/FVIII concentrates containing the high vWF multimers and a high vWF:RCo/FVIII ratio to achieve normal primary and secondary hemostasis. Based on the present study of a comparative analysis of currently available vWF/FVIII concentrates, a classification of vWF/FVIII products is proposed.

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