Acquired von Willebrand disease is a rare bleeding disorder that might be caused by other medical problems or medicines. It prevents blood from clotting properly. It is rarer than the inherited form of von Willebrand disease.
Medical problems that might cause acquired von Willebrand disease include:
- Lymph disorders, such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Plasma disorders, such as multiple myeloma.
- Bone marrow disorders, such as polycythemia vera.
- Solid tumours, such as Wilms' tumour (a fast-growing kidney tumour) and lung cancer.
- Autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus.
- Heart problems, such as aortic valve stenosis.
- Use of a cardiac device that helps the heart pump blood, called a ventricular assist device.
Rarely, acquired von Willebrand disease may also develop in direct association with use of certain medicines. When use is discontinued, signs of the disease also end. These medicines include:
- Valproic acid.
Symptoms include nosebleeds with no previous history of bleeding abnormalities.
Treatment of acquired von Willebrand disease includes medicines that help your body have enough von Willebrand clotting factor in the blood. This von Willebrand factor helps your blood clot.
Other Works Consulted
- Hillman R, et al. (2011). Platelet dysfunction and von Willebrand disease. In Hematology in Clinical Practice, 5th ed., pp. 384–397. New York: McGraw-Hill.
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (2007). The Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Management of von Willebrand Disease. (NIH Publication No. 08–5832). Available online: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/vwd.
- Nichols WL (2016). Von Willebrand disease and hemorrhagic abnormalities of platelet and vascular function. In L Goldman, A Shafer, eds., Goldman-Cecil Medicine, 24th ed., vol. 1, pp. 1167–1172. Philadelphia: Saunders.
Current as of: November 8, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Brian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology