von Willebrand Disease
Signs and Symptoms

Von Willebrand Disease (vWD) is usually inherited, meaning the disorder is passed from the child's parents through genes. Unlike hemophilia that almost always affects only boys, vWD affects boys and girls equally. Symptoms include frequent bruising, excessive bleeding after a pulled tooth and bleeding in the muscous membranes, such as nose and gums.

There are three forms of vWD — type 1, 2 and 3 — and the symptoms vary depending on the type and severity of the disease.

Type 1: This is the most common and mildest form of the disease, where levels of von Willebrand factor (vWF) are slightly lower than normal. Children with this type don't usually spontaneously bleed, but may have significant bleeding with surgery or serious injury.

Type 2: This type, which is divided into several subtypes, is where the vWF is not working properly. The vWF can be defective in its ability to bind platelets, the blood vessel lining, or factor VIII to stick together or the factor's ability to stick to the platelets is increased.

Type 3: This is the most severe form, where the body produces very little, if any, vWF and there are very low levels of clotting factor VIII. This form can cause severe bleeding problems and is very rare.

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Hematology

Hemophilia Treatment Center
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 476-3831
Phone: (800) 476-0560
Fax: (415) 476-3301
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Hematology Clinic
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 476-3831
Fax: (415) 514-5868
Appointment information

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