CHANGES OF VON WILLEBRAND FACTOR DURING PREGNANCY IN WOMEN WITHOUT AND WITH VON WILLEBRAND DISEASE

Giancarlo Castaman

Abstract

Delivery in von Willebrand disease (VWD) represents a significant hemostatic challenge because of the variable pattern of changes observed during pregnancy of von Willebrand factor (VWF)  and factor VIII (FVIII), the protein carried by VWF. The wide heterogeneity of phenotypes and of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms associated with this disorder prompt a careful evaluation of pregnant women with VWD to plan the most appropriate treatment at time of parturition. VWF and FVIII increase significantly during pregnancy in normal women, already within the first trimester, reaching levels by far > 100 U/dL by the time of parturition. In women with VWD, levels at baseline of VWF and FVIII > 30 U/dL are usually associated with a high likelihood to achieve normal levels at the end of pregnancy and specific anti-hemorrhagic prophylaxis is seldom required. Women with basal level < 20 U/dL usually have a poor increase since most of these women carry mutations associated with increased VWF clearance or are compound heterozygous for different VWF mutations which prevent the achievement of satisfactory hemostatic levels. While women with mutations associated with increased clearance show a full, albeit transitory correction of their hemostatic deficiency after desmopressin administration, compound heterozygous need replacement therapy because they do not respond well to this agent. Patients with abnormal VWF:RCo/VWF:Ag ratio at baseline (e.g. < 0.6), typically associated with type 2 VWD, maintain the abnormality throughout pregnancy and VWF:RCo usually does not attain safe levels ³ 50 U/dL. These women require replacement therapy with VWF-FVIII concentrates. Delayed post-partum bleeding may occur when replacement therapy is not continued for some days. Tranexamic acid may be useful at discharge to avoid excessive lochia.

Keywords

Bleeding disorders

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Submitted: 2014-06-13 09:55:09
Published: 2013-07-16 00:00:00
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