Home Medizin Studie zeigt, dass das Alter eine entscheidende Rolle bei der Diagnose der von-Willebrand-Krankheit spielt

Studie zeigt, dass das Alter eine entscheidende Rolle bei der Diagnose der von-Willebrand-Krankheit spielt

von NFI Redaktion

New research published in the journal Blood from RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences has found that the age at which individuals are tested for von Willebrand Disease (VWD), a common blood clotting disorder, has a significant impact on their diagnosis. This could be crucial in addressing current challenges in misdiagnosis and treatment of patients, and possibly reducing the risk of bleeding complications during surgeries and childbirth.

VWD is the most common inherited blood clotting disorder that affects proper blood coagulation. It affects approximately 1% of people worldwide and is caused by a reduced level of a protein called von Willebrand factor that helps in blood coagulation. This leads to patients bleeding more easily, resulting in issues such as heavy menstrual bleeding, frequent nosebleeds, and bleeding after surgeries or childbirth, impacting their quality of life.

When diagnosed, VWD patients are assigned to one of several subtypes that guide their clinical treatment. An accurate diagnosis is crucial for effective treatment, especially in individuals with borderline von Willebrand factor levels. Led by Dr. Ferdows Atiq and Professor James O’Donnell from the RCSI School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, this study analyzed data from two national studies from Ireland and the Netherlands, illustrating how the timing of diagnostic tests can significantly influence the assigned VWD subtype.

Crucially, the analysis of over 500 patients showed that individuals with borderline von Willebrand factor levels, or moderately low levels of the factor, do not form a separate clinical group, contrary to previous assumptions. The diagnostic tests capture a single moment on an age-dependent gradient. This supports the assumption that individuals tested at an older age are more likely to be mistakenly diagnosed with a milder subtype of the disorder.

This study has shown that age plays a crucial role in the diagnosis of VWD, potentially leading to inaccuracies in both diagnosis and treatment. The findings should prompt a review of our approach to testing for VWD to ensure that age-specific factors are integrated to improve patients‘ quality of life and minimize risk.

Professor James O’Donnell, Director of the Irish Centre for Vascular Biology at RCSI

The investigation also revealed that as individuals with VWD age, they respond better to a particular type of treatment. This suggests that older patients may require less medication, reducing the likelihood of side effects. This finding could open up new possibilities for treating older patients with VWD.

The research was conducted by RCSI in collaboration with the National Coagulation Centre at St. James’s Hospital in Dublin and the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam.

The study was funded by the Science Foundation Ireland, the Dutch Organization for Health Research and Development, Stichting Haemophilia, CSL Behring, and Takeda.


RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences

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