JOURNAL ARTICLE
OBSERVATIONAL STUDY
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Shear-stress induced acquired von Willebrand syndrome in children with congenital heart disease.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the frequency and severity of acquired von Willebrand syndrome (AVWS) in children with stenotic congenital heart disease (CHD) before and after intervention.

METHODS: In this single-centre prospective observational case-control study, 50 children [median age: 26 (range, 0-175) months, bodyweight: 9.5 (2.2-7.5) kg] underwent catheter interventions or cardiac surgery. A total of 26 children with high stenosis [mean gradient: 80 (range, 52-130) mmHg] represented the stenosis group and 24 without relevant stenosis (<20 mmHg) served as the control group. von Willebrand factor (VWF) was analysed with respect to quantity and function before and after corrective or palliative intervention.

RESULTS: Demographic data were comparable. The stenosis group had more surgical and the control group more interventional procedures (P = 0.025). Before intervention, 13 patients from the stenosis group (50%) showed a significant reduction in VWF-multimers compared with no patients in the control group (P <0.001). Collagen binding capacity (VWF:CB) was lower in the stenosis group [0.5 (0.2-2.6) U/ml vs 0.8 (0.4-2.1) U/ml, P <0.05), as was the collagen binding capacity to antigen ratio (VWF:CB/Ag) [0.8 (0.4-1.4) U/ml vs 1 (0.4-1.7) U/ml, P <0.001). After intervention, VWF parameters normalized rapidly within the first 24 h after the procedure and showed no group differences. {VWF:CB [1.7 (0.6-3.7) vs 1.7 (0.6-4.2) U/ml, P = n.s.], VWF:CB/Ag [1.1 (0.5-2.9) vs 1.2 (0.7-2.2), P = n.s} Time in the intensive care unit, respirator time, duration of stay and bleeding before and after intervention were not significantly different.

CONCLUSIONS: AVWS is detected in half of the children with high intra- or extracardiac stenoses and resolves completely after surgical or interventional repair. Even when undergoing surgery on cardiopulmonary bypass, excessive surgical site bleeding was not detected in our study patients.

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