Perils, problems, and progress in laboratory diagnosis of von Willebrand disease

Semin Thromb Hemost. 2014 Feb;40(1):41-8. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1363166. Epub 2013 Dec 12.


Diagnosis of von Willebrand disease (VWD) merits consideration of personal and family history of bleeding symptoms along with confirmatory laboratory testing. As the latter yields quantifiable results, overreliance on a laboratory diagnosis may occur. However, existing tests for VWD contain potential sources for error. Both intrinsic and extrinsic factors affecting these assays can contribute to either falsely normal or falsely abnormal results. This article will discuss the present available assays as well as new developments in diagnostic testing. A clear understanding of the limitations of VWD testing is helpful for ensuring the correct diagnosis of affected patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques / methods*
  • Humans
  • von Willebrand Diseases / diagnosis*