Comparison of four virus-inactivated plasma concentrates for treatment of severe von Willebrand disease: a cross-over randomized trial

P M Mannucci, P M Tenconi, G Castaman, F Rodeghiero
Blood 1992 June 15, 79 (12): 3130-7
Until recently, cryoprecipitate has been the treatment of choice in patients with severe von Willebrand disease (vWD) because it can transiently correct low plasma levels of factor VIII coagulant activity (FVIII:C) and shorten or normalize the prolonged bleeding time (BT), the two laboratory hallmarks of the disease. However, cryoprecipitate may still transmit blood-borne viruses, whereas the development of virucidal methods have rendered plasma concentrates containing FVIII:C and von Willebrand factor (vWF) safer. To establish their potential usefulness in the treatment of vWD, we compared the effect of four virus-inactivated concentrates on FVII:C and vWF plasma levels and the BT (template method) in 10 patients with severe vWD using a crossover randomized design. The concentrates were an intermediate-purity, pasteurized FVIII-vWF concentrate; an intermediate-purity, dry-heated FVIII-vWF concentrate; a solvent/detergent-treated vWF concentrate, containing little FVIII; and a high-purity solvent/detergent-treated FVIII-vWF concentrate. All concentrates were equally effective in attaining normal and sustained levels of FVIII:C postinfusion, although peak levels were more delayed after the vWF concentrate. The effect of concentrates on the BT, however, was less uniform and satisfactory. The pasteurized FVIII-vWF concentrate transiently corrected, completely or partially, the BT in 8 of 10 patients, the dry-heated and solvent/detergent FVIII/vWF concentrates in five, whereas in no patient did the vWF concentrate correct the BT according to the criteria used in this study. These effects on the BT were not related to the plasma levels of ristocetin cofactor activity-attained postinfusion (100 U/dL or more in the majority of patients) or to the multimeric structure of vWF in concentrates (defective in larger multimers in all cases). In conclusion, even though virus-inactivated concentrates can be used to increase FVIII:C levels in patients with severe vWD, none of the concentrates studied by us consistently normalizes the BT in a sustained fashion.

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