Von Willebrand disease (VWD) is the most common inherited bleeding disorder. Clinically, VWD induces mucosal bleeding caused by a decreased quantity or quality of von Willebrand factor (VWF). Diagnosis of VWD requires careful consideration of patient specific factors, bleeding symptoms, and laboratory results. There is no single diagnostic test for VWD; laboratory diagnosis requires a number of assays of VWF amount and function, and factor VIII activity, with no single straightforward diagnostic test available up to know to either confirm or exclude the diagnosis. The currently available laboratory testing for VWD is imperfect, but if accompanied by an attentive and careful interpretation provides significant clinical utility by categorizing affected patients by type of VWD. As the diagnosis of VWD variants has implications for treatment, laboratory testing is therefore critical for optimising patient care. Newer assays of VWF function are becoming available and will be of great help in establishing the laboratory diagnosis of VWD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Medical Laboratory Technology
- Biochemistry, medical