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: Frequency and extension of such events in 50 multi-ethnic index patients with severe VWD type 3 and in five index patients with VWD type 2M Vicenza. One additional unclassified patient had been diagnosed with possible VWD in Russia solely on a clinical basis. Gene conversions, previously thought to be rare events, were identified in >10% of the studied population: severe VWD type 3, VWD type 2M Vicenza and the Russian patient was finally diagnosed with VWD type 2B New York/Malmoe.
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: Russian Government is doing basic research to study the inheritance of 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.