Desmopressin increases endogenous factor VIII levels in hemophilia A. Large inter-individual variation in the response to desmopressin is observed. Patients with a lower baseline factor VIII activity tend to show a reduced response, therefore, desmopressin is less frequently used in moderate hemophilia A patients (baseline factor VIII activity 1-5 international units/deciliter), even though factor VIII levels may rise substantially in some of them. We aim to describe the response to desmopressin in moderate hemophilia A patients and to identify predictors. We selected data on 169 patients with moderate hemophilia from the multicenter Response to DDAVP In non-severe hemophilia A patients: in Search for dEterminants (RISE) cohort study. Adequate response to desmopressin was defined as a peak factor VIII level ≥ 30, and excellent response as ≥ 50 international units/deciliter after desmopressin administration. We used univariate and multiple linear regression techniques to analyze predictors of the peak factor VIII level. Response was considered adequate in 68 patients (40%), of whom 25 showed excellent response (15%). Intravenous administration, age, pre-desmopressin factor VIII activity and von Willebrand factor antigen, peak von Willebrand factor activity and desmopressin-induced rise in von Willebrand factor antigen were significant predictors of peak factor VIII level and explained 65% of the inter-individual variation. In 40% of moderate hemophilia A patients, desmopressin response was adequate, thus it is important not to withhold this group of patients from desmopressin responsiveness. Among the six predictors that we identified for desmopressin-induced factor VIII rise, factor VIII activity and desmopressin-induced rise in von Willebrand factor antigen had the strongest effect.
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