Von Villebrand Disease
WHAT IS VON WILLEBRAND DISEASE?
Von Willebrand Disease (vWD) is the most common inherited bleeding disorder. It is a genetic disorder that can be inherited from either parent and affects women and men in equal numbers. It is estimated that vWD occurs in one to three percent of the US population. There are three types of von Willebrand Disease, with Type I being the mildest and most common. People who have vWD take longer to stop bleeding due to defects or deficiencies of von Willebrand factor (vWF). This glue-like protein interacts with platelets to form a plug that prevents the blood from flowing at the site of injury. People with vWD are unable to make this plug.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS & SYMPTOMS?
- Frequent or prolonged nosebleeds
- Easy bruising
- Heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding (longer than one week - or changing tampon/pd every 30-120 minutes on heaviest day.)
- Wxcessive or prolonged bleeding after surgery, trauma, childbirth or dental work
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?
Specialized coagulation blood tests are done for diagnosis of vWD. These tests should be done at sites that have a coagulation laboratory to ensure accuracy.
HOW IS VWD TREATED?
People with vWD now have a range of treatment choices depending on whether their illness is mild or severe. These options include intravenous DDAVP, Stimate nasal spray, Factor VIII concentrate or Amicar tablets.