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Blood. 2008 Apr 1;111(7):3540-5. doi: 10.1182/blood-2007-11-122945. Epub 2008 Feb 1.

A shorter von Willebrand factor survival in O blood group subjects explains how ABO determinants influence plasma von Willebrand factor.

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Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Padua Medical School, Italy.


ABO blood groups greatly influence circulating von Willebrand factor (VWF) levels, and O group subjects have lower VWF values. In this study, we investigated whether ABO groups affect VWF survival by monitoring the post-DDAVP (1-desamino-8-d arginine vasopressin) time courses of VWF antigen (VWF:Ag), VWF collagen binding (VWF:CB), and factor VIII (FVIII) in 47 healthy subjects (28 O and 19 non-O blood groups). The elimination half-life (T1/2el) of VWF was found significantly shorter in O than in non-O subjects (10.0+/-0.8 hours vs 25.5+/-5.3 hours, respectively; P<.01), as was the T1/2el of VWF:CB (7.9+/-0.5 hours vs 20.9+/-4.5 hours; P<.01). A direct linear correlation was found between basal VWF:Ag and T1/2el, subjects with higher VWF levels having longer-surviving VWF. ABO blood groups appeared to strongly influence VWF clearance, but not its synthesis or release from endothelial cells. The VWF propeptide to VWF:Ag ratio, useful for predicting an increased VWF clearance, was found significantly higher in O than in non-O individuals (1.6+/-0.1 vs 1.2+/-0.5, P<.001), with values that correlated inversely with T1/2el (P<.001). Based on these findings, we conclude that the lower VWF values in O group individuals is attributable to a shorter VWF survival and circulating VWF values are strongly influenced by its half-life.

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