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Thromb Haemost. 2010 Dec;104(6):1158-65. doi: 10.1160/TH10-04-0213. Epub 2010 Oct 12.

Prospective study of low-dose ristocetin-induced platelet aggregation to identify type 2B von Willebrand disease (VWD) and platelet-type VWD in children.

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Laboratorio de Hemostasia y Trombosis, Servicio de Hematología-Oncología, Hospital de Pediatría Prof Dr Juan P Garrahan, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Type 2B von Willebrand disease (VWD2B) and platelet-type von Willebrand disease (PT-VWD) are rare bleeding disorders characterised by an increased ristocetin-induced platelet aggregation (RIPA) at low dose of ristocetin. It was the objective of this study to detect children with VWD2B and PT-VWD using RIPA at low dose of ristocetin (0.5 mg/ml) in the screening evaluation of bleeding disorders, and to analyse the phenotypic data along with the molecular findings. Over a 14-year period, 641 children with personal and family bleeding symptoms or bleeding from birth with previously uncharacterised haemostatic disorders were prospectively studied. Six unrelated patients (0.93%) showed RIPA at low dose of ristocetin. RIPA-based mixing studies identified that the plasma of the six probands and at least one parent from five unrelated families induced aggregation of normal platelets with the addition of low-dose ristocetin. None of the probands' platelets showed aggregation with cryoprecipitate. Low ristocetin cofactor activity/VWF antigen ratio with absent collagen binding activity or thrombocytopenia were detected respectively in only two patients. Molecular analysis of exon 28 of the VWF gene identified mutations in only three patients. No mutation in the GP1BA gene was found. In this large prospective paediatric study, the screening approach including RIPA at low dose of ristocetin permitted the detection of patients with VWD2B that would otherwise have been missed. No patient with phenotype or genotype of PT-VWD was identified. Heterogeneity of bleeding symptoms and phenotypic parameters were found among members of the same family.

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