Significant gynecological bleeding in women with low von Willebrand factor levels

Michelle Lavin, Sonia Aguila, Niall Dalton, Margaret Nolan, Mary Byrne, Kevin Ryan, Barry White, Niamh M. O'Connell, Jamie M. O'Sullivan, Jorge Di Paola, Paula D. James, James S. O'Donnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Gynecological bleeding is frequently reported in women with von Willebrand disease (VWD). Low von Willebrand factor (VWF) may be associated with significant bleeding phenotype despite only mild plasma VWF reductions. The contribution of gynecological bleeding to this phenotype has yet to be described. The optimal clinical bleeding assessment tool (BAT) to evaluate bleeding remains unclear. Using a standardized approach to phenotypic assessment, we evaluated gynecological bleeding and directly compared the Condensed Molecular and Clinical Markers for the Diagnosis and Management of type 1 VWD (Condensed MCMDM-1 VWD) and International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) BAT scores in 120 women enrolled in the Low von Willebrand in Ireland Cohort study. Heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) was reported in 89% of female participants; 45.8% developed iron deficiency. Using identical data, Condensed MCMDM-1 VWD menorrhagia domain scores were significantly lower than ISTH BAT scores (2 vs 3; P, .0001), the discrepant results related to 40% of women not seeking medical consultation for HMB, reducing the sensitivity of the Condensed score. For those who reported HMB to physicians, the low VWF diagnosis was not expedited (age at diagnosis 34.2 vs 33.4 years in women failing to present; P 5 .7). Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) was self-reported in 63.5% of parous women (n 5 74); 21.6% required transfusion, critical care, radiological, or surgical intervention. Our data demonstrate that gynecological bleeding is frequently reported in women with low VWF; despite pregnancy-related increases in plasma VWF levels, these women may experience PPH. Defining the optimal management approach for these patients requires further research. This trial was registered at as #NCT03167320.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1784-1791
Number of pages8
JournalBlood Advances
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 24 2018


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