Autosomal dominant von Willebrand disease (VWD) type 1/2E is a quantitative/qualitative defect in the von Willebrand factor (VWF) caused by heterozygous cysteine and non-cysteine mutations in the D3 domain of the VWF gene and results in a secretion-multimerization-clearance defect in mutant VWF with the loss of large VWF multimers not due to proteolysis. The multimers of patients with dominant VWD type 1/2E due to mutations in the D3 domain show an aberrant triplet structure with lack of outer bands but with pronounced inner bands of the triplet structure combined with a relative decrease in large multimers reflecting heterozygosity for multimerization defects. There is a good response to desmopressin (DDAVP) followed by rapid clearance of VWF:antigen (Ag), factor VIII coagulant activity (FVIII:C) and VWF:ristocetin cofactor activity (RCo) as the main cause of VWD type 1 or 2 with typical 2E multimeric pattern (VWD type 1/2E). Cysteine mutations in the D3 domains (C1130, C1149 and C1190) show pronounced features of VWD 1/2E with the relative loss of large and relative increase in small VWF multimers with abnormal triplet structure in heterozygotes. Such abnormalities are less pronounced in patients with a milder form of VWD type 1 due to non-cysteine mutations W1144G, T1156M and W1120S in the D3 domain. VWD type 1 Vicenza is caused by the R1205H mutation in the D3 domain and characterized by equally low levels of FVIII:C, VWF:Ag and VWF:RCo. The response to DDAVP in VWD Vicenza is good for FVIII:C, VWF:Ag and VWF:RCo, which is followed by a rapid clearance in less than a few hours of FVIII:C and VWF parameters. The ratios for FVIII:C/VWF:Ag, VWF:RCo/Ag and VWF:CB/Ag remain normal before and after DDAVP indicating that VWD Vicenza clearly differs from VWD type 1, 1/2E and 2M. A new set of missense mutations in D4, B1–B3 and C1–C2 domains has been discovered as the cause of a mild VWD type 1 secretion defect with normal VWF multimers or smeary VWF multimeric pattern. Cysteine mutations in exons 38, 40, 42 and 43 (D4, B1–B3 and C1 domain), show smeary patterns (either smf or sm), with the presence of large VWF multimers and a laboratory phenotype of mild VWD type 1 with variable penetrance of bleeding manifestations. Recent studies showed that the ratio of VWF propeptide (pp) to VWF:Ag can be used to predict a shorter than normal half-life for VWF:Ag. There is a strong inverse correlation between rapid clearance of VWF:Ag after DDAVP and increased VWFpp/Ag ratios >10 in VWD type 1 Vicenza, and >2 in VWD type 1/2E but normal or slightly increased (1–<2) VWFpp/Ag ratios in mild-type VWD due to nonsense or missense mutations in the D1, D2, D4, B and C domains.

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