Summary background: Excessive bruising and mucocutaneous bleeding are frequent presenting symptoms in childhood. A detailed bleeding history can distinguish children who may have an inherited bleeding disorder from those who are normal. There is a lack of standardization of such history taking in pediatric practise.
Objectives: To assess the performance of a Pediatric Bleeding Questionnaire (PBQ), an adaptation of a standardized adult bleeding questionnaire and score that includes pediatric-specific bleeding symptoms, in a cohort of children with von Willebrand disease (VWD).
Patients/methods: Bleeding scores were determined by interview, for children with a previous diagnosis of VWD and a control group of unaffected siblings.
Results: Bleeding scores were obtained for 100 children with VWD, median age 10.9 years (range, 0.8-17.8 years), and 21 unaffected siblings. Median bleeding score in children with VWD was 7.0 (range, 0-29) and in the control group was 0 (range, -1-2). Bleeding score varied within and between each VWD type: definite type 1, n = 40, median, 9.0 (range, 2-18); possible type 1, n = 38, median, 2.0 (0-15); type 2, n = 6, median, 14.0 (3-17); and type 3, n = 16, median, 12.0 (4-29). Bleeding scores in affected children correlated with age (Spearman's correlation coefficient, 0.35; P = 0.0004). The most frequent clinically significant bleeding symptoms were surgical bleeding, bleeding after tooth extraction and menorrhagia. Post-circumcision bleeding, cephalohematoma, macroscopic hematuria and umbilical stump bleeding were clinically significant in 32% (of circumcised males), 4%, 4% and 3% of children, respectively.
Conclusions: The PBQ provides a standardized quantitation of bleeding severity in children with VWD.