Enhanced VWF clearance in low VWF pathogenesis: limitations of the VWFpp/VWF:Ag ratio and clinical significance

Dearbhla Doherty, Michelle Lavin, Mary Byrne, Margaret Nolan, Jamie M. O'Sullivan, Kevin Ryan, Niamh M. O'Connell, Sandra L. Haberichter, Pamela A. Christopherson, Jorge Di Paola, Paula D. James, James S. O'Donnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Increased von Willebrand factor (VWF) clearance plays a key role in the pathogenesis of type 1 and type 2 von Willebrand disease (VWD). However, the pathological mechanisms involved in patients with mild to moderate reductions in plasma VWF:Ag (range, 30-50 IU/dL; low VWF) remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the hypothesis that enhanced VWF clearance may contribute to the pathobiology of low VWF. Patients with low VWF were recruited to the LoVIC study after ethics approval and receipt of informed consent. Desmopressin was administered IV in 75 patients, and blood samples were drawn at baseline and at the 1-hour and 4-hour time points. As defined by recent ASH/ISTH/NHF/ WFH guidelines, 20% of our low-VWF cohort demonstrated significantly enhanced VWF clearance. Importantly, from a clinical perspective, this enhanced VWF clearance was seen after desmopressin infusion, but did not affect the steady-state VWF propeptide (VWFpp)-to- VWF antigen (VWF:Ag) ratio (VWFpp/VWF:Ag) in most cases. The discrepancy between the VWFpp/VWF:Ag ratio and desmopressin fall-off rates in patients with mild quantitative VWD may have reflected alteration in VWFpp clearance kinetics. Finally, bleeding scores were significantly lower in patients with low VWF with enhanced VWF clearance, compared with those in whom reduced VWF biosynthesis represented the principle pathogenic mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-308
Number of pages7
JournalBlood Advances
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 14 2023


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