A new ELISA assay for diagnosis of acquired von Willebrand syndrome

Haemophilia. 2003 May;9(3):303-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2516.2003.00750.x.


The pathophysiology of acquired von Willebrand syndrome (AVWS), a rare bleeding disorder, is not fully understood. Circulating antibodies to Von Willebrand factor (VWF) are found in patients with AVWS associated with lymphoproliferative disorders but these autoantibodies are difficult to detect with routine laboratory tests and neutralisation assays. We have developed a simple enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect serum antibody binding to VWF protein immobilized on polystyrene plates. Ten patients with AVWS were studied, eight of whom also had lymphoproliferative disorders. We found antibodies in eight patients; all of them were positive for IgG and five were also positive for IgM. This simple method appears to be more sensitive than functional assays, which failed to identify two of the patients who were positive with the ELISA. In conjunction with other tests, this ELISA method may be useful for demonstrating the immunological mechanism underlying some cases of AVWS. Such patients would qualify for intravenous immunoglobulin therapy, which can correct the clotting disorder.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • von Willebrand Diseases / diagnosis*
  • von Willebrand Diseases / immunology
  • von Willebrand Factor / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • von Willebrand Factor