From the Journals

Infusion shown effective for acquired von Willebrand disease



Acquired von Willebrand disease (aVWD) is a rare and serious condition associated with lymphoproliferative disorders, malignancy, autoimmune disorders, and cardiovascular disease. It is most commonly caused by monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), which acts to clear von Willebrand factor from the patient’s bloodstream. However, a continuous-infusion of plasma-derived von Willebrand factor (VWF) concentrate provided adequate hemostasis in aVWD resulting from MGUS, according to Kathryn E. Dane, PharmD, of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, and colleagues.

The infusion rapidly achieved target ristocetin cofactor activity with or without intravenous immunoglobulin in three patients, as detailed in the report published online in Blood Advances.

The three consecutive patients with aVWD were treated with plasma-derived VWF concentrate administered for periprocedural optimization (patient 1, an 85-year old woman) or to treat bleeding episodes (patient 2, an 88-year-old man; and patient 3, a 53-year-old woman). Factor VIII activity was measured via a 1-stage clotting test and von Willebrand factor activity was measured with a ristocetin cofactor assay.

Promising results

All three patients demonstrated increased VWF ristocetin cofactor and factor VIII activities within hours of initiation of the continuous infusion concentrate, according to the report.

“We hypothesize that the efficacy of CI VWF concentrate in aVWD may be related to continuous provision of VWF, allowing binding and neutralization of anti-VWF IgG antibodies, and providing adequate circulating unbound VWF for appropriate hemostatic efficacy,” the researchers concluded.

The authors reported that they had no competing financial interests.

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