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Blood. 2006 Nov 15;108(10):3344-51. Epub 2006 Jul 11.

Assay of the von Willebrand factor (VWF) propeptide to identify patients with type 1 von Willebrand disease with decreased VWF survival.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics-Hematology/Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.


Type 1 von Willebrand disease (VWD) is characterized by a partial quantitative deficiency of von Willebrand factor (VWF). Few VWF gene mutations have been identified that cause dominant type 1 VWD. The decreased survival of VWF in plasma has recently been identified as a novel mechanism for type 1 VWD. We report 4 families with moderately severe type 1 VWD characterized by low plasma VWF:Ag and FVIII:C levels, proportionately low VWF:RCo, and dominant inheritance. A decreased survival of VWF in affected individuals was identified with VWF half-lives of 1 to 3 hours, whereas the half-life of VWF propeptide (VWFpp) was normal. DNA sequencing revealed a single (heterozygous) VWF mutation in affected individuals, S2179F in 2 families, and W1144G in 2 families, neither of which has been previously reported. We show that the ratio of steady-state plasma VWFpp to VWF:Ag can be used to identify patients with a shortened VWF half-life. An increased ratio distinguished affected from unaffected individuals in all families. A significantly increased VWFpp/VWF:Ag ratio together with reduced VWF:Ag may indicate the presence of a true genetic defect and decreased VWF survival phenotype. This phenotype may require an altered clinical therapeutic approach, and we propose to refer to this phenotype as type-1C VWD.

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