Items in AFP with MESH term: Hemostatics

Diagnosis and Management of Von Willebrand Disease: Guidelines for Primary Care - Article

ABSTRACT: Von Willebrand disease is an inherited condition characterized by deficiency of von Willebrand factor, which is essential in hemostasis. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has released new evidence-based guidelines for the diagnosis and management of the disease. There are three major subtypes of von Willebrand disease, classified as partial quantitative deficiency (low levels) of von Willebrand factor (type 1), qualitative deficiency (type 2), or virtually complete deficiency (type 3). Diagnosis is usually made by reviewing the patient's personal and family history of bleeding and by clinical evaluation for more common reasons for bleeding, supplemented with laboratory tests. Assessment may be used to determine bleeding risk before surgery and other invasive procedures, and to diagnose reasons for unexplained hemorrhaging. Von Willebrand factor levels of 30 IU per dL or lower are required for the definite diagnosis of inherited von Willebrand disease. Persons with levels of 30 to 50 IU per dL may not have the disease, but may need agents to increase von Willebrand factor levels during invasive procedures or childbirth. Treatment is tailored to the subtype of the disease: increasing plasma concentration of von Willebrand factor by releasing endogenous stores with desmopressin or replacing nonexistent or ineffective von Willebrand factor by using human plasma-derived, viral-inactivated concentrates; treatment is often combined with hemostatic agents that have mechanisms other than increasing von Willebrand factor. Regular prophylaxis is seldom required, and treatment is initiated before planned invasive procedures or in response to bleeding.



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