VWD is the most common inherited bleeding disorder known. It is caused by a deficiency or dysfunction of the VWF molecule. Bleeding risk varies between modest increases in bleeding seen only with procedures to major risk of spontaneous hemorrhage depending upon the type of VWD. The treatment approach to VWD has changed little in the past 2 decades, but there are numerous subtleties in optimal management. Management includes the prevention or treatment of bleeding by raising endogenous VWF levels with medications such as desmopressin or providing exogenous VWF concentrates. Fibrinolytic inhibitors and topical hemostatic agents are also effective adjunctive measures. Bleeding specific to women presents a special challenge because of heavy menstrual bleeding and pregnancy. Successful management of pregnancy in patients with VWD involves coordination with obstetrics, anesthesia, and the coagulation laboratory monitoring VWF:RCo and FVIII:C levels. Prophylactic treatment with VWF concentrates is emerging as an effective preventive therapy in patients with severe disease. Antibodies to VWF present a special challenge in the management of rare patients with type 3 disease. New therapies on the horizon include recombinant VWF, anti-VWF aptamers, and medications such as IL-11 to raise VWF levels. The key to effective treatment of VWD is an accurate diagnosis of the specific type and selection of hemostatic products appropriate for the clinical situation.

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