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Acquired von Willebrand syndrome

Margaret E Rick, MD
Section Editor
Lawrence LK Leung, MD
Deputy Editor
Jennifer S Tirnauer, MD


Inherited von Willebrand disease (VWD) is the most common inherited bleeding disorder. Acquired von Willebrand syndrome (aVWS; acquired deficiency or dysfunction of von Willebrand factor [VWF]), however, is much less common, and the diagnosis is not often suspected in a bleeding patient.

aVWS is associated with a number of medical conditions, and bleeding symptoms in an individual with any of these diseases should raise suspicion and prompt an evaluation for aVWS. Evaluation and management may be complex, especially in those for whom the underlying disorder requires antithrombotic therapy, such as anticoagulation for a prosthetic heart valve or aspirin for essential thrombocythemia.

This topic reviews the pathophysiology, evaluation, diagnosis, and management of aVWS. Inherited VWD and other causes of bleeding are discussed in separate topic reviews:

Inherited VWD diagnosis and classification – (See "Clinical presentation and diagnosis of von Willebrand disease".)

Inherited VWD treatment – (See "Treatment of von Willebrand disease".)


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Literature review current through: May 2017. | This topic last updated: Mar 29, 2017.
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