Characterization of recessive severe type 1 and 3 von Willebrand Disease (VWD), asymptomatic heterozygous carriers versus bloodgroup O-related von Willebrand factor deficiency, and dominant type 1 VWD

Jan Jacques Michiels, Zwi Berneman, Alain Gadisseur, Marc van der Planken, Wilfried Schroyens, Ann van de Velde, Huub van Vliet
Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/hemostasis 2006, 12 (3): 277-95
Recessive type 3 von Willebrand disease (VWD) is caused by homozygosity or double heterozygosity for two non-sense mutations (null alleles). Type 3 VWD is easy to diagnose by the combination of a strongly prolonged bleeding time (BT), absence of ristocetine-induced platelet aggregation (RIPA), absence of von Willebrand factor (VWF) protein, and prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) due to factor VIII:coagulant (FVIII:C) deficiency. VWD type 3 is associated with a pronounced tendency to mucocutaneous and musculoskeletal bleedings since early childhood. Carriers of one null allele are usually asymptomatic at VWF levels of 50% of normal. Recessive severe type 1 VWD is caused by homozygosity or double heterozygosity for a missense mutation. Recessive type 1 VWD differs from type 3 VWD by the presence of detectable von Willebrand factor: antigen VWF:Ag and FVIII:C levels between 0.09 and 0.40 U/mL. Patients with recessive type 1 VWD show an abnormal VWF multimeric pattern in plasma and/or platelets consistent with severe type 2 VWD. Carriers of a missense mutation may have mild bleeding and mild VWF deficiency and can be diagnosed by a double VWF peak on cross immunoelectrophoresis (CIE). There will be cases of mild and moderate recessive type 1 VWD due to double heterozygosity of two missense mutations, or with the combination of one missense mutation with a non-sense or bloodgroup O. Mild deficiency of VWF in the range of 0.20 to 0.60 U/mL, with normal ratios of von Willebrand factor: ristocetine cofactor/antigen VWF:RCo/Ag and VWF:collagen binding/antigen (VWF:CB/Ag), normal VWF multimers, and a completely normal response to desmopressin acetate (DDAVP) with VWF level rising from below to above 1.00 U/mL are very likely cases of so-called pseudo-VWF deficiency in individuals with normal VWF protein and gene. Autosomal dominant type 1 VWD variants are in fact type 2 variants caused by a heterozygous missense mutation in the VWF gene that produces a mutant VWF protein that has a dominant effect on normal VWF protein produced by the normal VWF allele with regard to the synthesis, processing, storage, secretion, and/or proteolysis of VWF in endothelial cells. A DDAVP challenge test clearly differentiates between dominant type 1 VWD phenotype and dominant type 2 M VWD.

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