Desmopressin in inherited disorders of platelet function

Haemophilia. 2008 Jan;14 Suppl 1:31-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2516.2007.01607.x.


Following the first clinical use in haemophilia and von Willebrand disease in 1977, the synthetic analogue of vasopressin 1-deamino-8-D-arginine vasopressin (DDAVP, desmopressin) was successfully employed for the management of a series of bleeding disorders, including congenital and acquired defects of platelet function. In this setting, few haemostatic approaches are available and, in particular for severe bleeding and major invasive procedures, the transfusion of platelet concentrates is the first-choice treatment. Therefore, DDAVP was (and remains) an attractive therapeutic alternative, being well tolerated, cost-saving, administrable at home (by the intranasal or subcutaneous concentrated formulations) and, in particular, enabling the avoidance of blood product exposition and the related risks (allergic reactions, transfusion transmitted infections). Despite three decades of clinical use, cellular mechanisms of haemostatic effects of DDAVP in platelet defects remain poorly known and the excellent results reported in some case series have not been strengthened by rigorous clinical trials, hampered by the rarity and the heterogeneity of these disorders. However, clinical experience more than evidence-based medicine reserved an established place to DDAVP in the management of inherited platelet disorders. This review will focus the available clinical data and the open issues of DDAVP in this setting.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bleeding Time
  • Blood Platelet Disorders / congenital*
  • Blood Platelet Disorders / drug therapy
  • Blood Platelet Disorders / physiopathology
  • Deamino Arginine Vasopressin / therapeutic use*
  • Hemostatics / therapeutic use*
  • Humans


  • Hemostatics
  • Deamino Arginine Vasopressin