Von Willebrand disease (vWD) is an inherited trait where an individual’s bleeds excessively. It is very rare that the vWD is acquired later in life due to autoantibodies. The impairment of protein called von Willebrand factor which is an important component in blood–clotting process. The vWF gene is located on chromosome 12. Types 1 and 2 are inherited as autosomal dominant traits and type 3 is inherited as autosomal recessive. Occasionally type 2 also inherits recessively.
Disease statistics: A study carried on vWD database contains 4070 entries, including 1832 suspected or confirmed cases of VWD. Excluding 311 as yet unclassified cases, 1254 cases (82.4%) would define (potential) quantitative deficiencies of VWF ("low VWF" or type 1 VWD), 241 (15.8%) qualitative defects (type 2 VWD), and 23 (1.5%) type 3 VWD. Most of the quantitative defects reflect only mild loss of VWF, and <15% of total cases would be identified to have VWF levels <35 U/dL.
Treatment: The two main treatment possibilities for patients with von Willebrand disease (vWD) are desmopressin (DDAVP) and von Willebrand factor/factor VIII (vWF/FVIII) concentrates. DDAVP is a synthetic analogue of the antidiuretic hormone vasopressin; it has enhanced antidiuretic activity and no pressor activity related to vasopressin. Purified plasma-derived concentrates of vWF/FVIII are used for treatment of bleeds and for surgical prophylaxis when DDAVP is ineffective or contraindicated.
Research: Haemophilia Foundation Australia (HFA) denotes patients with haemophilia, von Willebrand disorder and other related inherited bleeding disorders. The researcher at HFA provides vWD patients with most advance treatment for this kind of disorder with gene therapy and desmopressin.