A 10-yr-old girl had bleeding symptoms of moderate severity: her mother and maternal aunt had milder bleeding symptoms, and other members of the kindred were asymptomatic. In the child, factor VIII coagulant activity (VIII:C) and von Willebrand factor antigen (vWF:Ag) were normal, ristocetin cofactor very low, and the bleeding time (BT) markedly prolonged. These values were normals in the rest of the kindred, but the mother and maternal aunt had prolonged BT and a high VIII:C/vWF:Ag ratio. Crossed immunoelectrophoresis (CIE) showed a vWF:Ag peak migrating more anodally in the propositus, two distinct peaks, one migrating anodally, in the father, paternal uncle, and grandmother, and normal peaks in the rest of the kindred. In the propositus, analysis of vWF multimers in plasma on 1.6% sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) agarose revealed that there were no larger multimers and there was a relative increase of the smallest multimer. This relative increase was also seen in her relatives with a double peak on CIE. Using gels of smaller porosity, each multimer of the propositus's plasma consisted of a single band, instead of the repeating triplet seen in normal and von Willebrand's disease varients types IIA and IIB. The abnormalities found in the propositus are tentatively interpreted as being due to double heterozygosity for two different genes. The defective gene carried by the father affects the triplet structure of vWF multimers, whereas a prolonged BT and a high VIII:C/vWF:Ag ratio are the only phenotypic expressions of the defective gene of the mother. The findings of aberrant triplet structure in congenital vWD strengthen the view that this structure is an intrinsic feature of the normal vWF molecule.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 1983|
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