Low von Willebrand factor (VWF) in adults is associated with significant bleeding, most notably heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) and postpartum hemorrhage, although this has not been characterized in adolescents. The objectives of this analysis of a multicenter single arm observational cohort study in adolescents with low VWF-associated HMB were to describe the bleeding phenotype, HMB severity, and related complications. Eligibility criteria included postmenarchal females <21 years of age with HMB (Pictorial Blood Assessment Chart [PBAC] score >100) and low VWF (2 values of VWF activity ≥30 and ≤50 IU/dL). Patients diagnosed with other bleeding disorders were ineligible. Clinical phenotype data, including PBAC and Bleeding Assessment Tool (BAT) scores, laboratory data, and HMB management/outcome details, were extracted. Patient demographics and clinical characteristics were summarized as medians with minimum/maximum values or frequencies with percentages. Groups were compared using a Wilcoxon rank-sum test or Fisher's exact test. A total of 113 patients met inclusion criteria, and 2 were excluded. Ninety four percent had a significant bleeding phenotype (BAT score >2), with predominantly mucocutaneous bleeding (32%-44%), postprocedural/surgical bleeding (15%), and severe HMB (BAT HMB domain score ≥2; 90%). Bleeding complications included iron deficiency (60%), anemia (21%), transfusion (12%), and hospitalization (10%). Desmopressin challenge response in subjects tested was good and sustained. Several (48%) required combined therapy for HMB (hormonal/hemostatic), and one third did not show improvement despite therapy. Our results suggest that adolescent females with low VWF have a significant bleeding phenotype and resultant complications warranting a focus on prompt diagnosis, appropriate therapy, and prevention of complications.
Adolescents with low VWF–associated HMB had significant bleeding phenotype (BAT score >2; 94%), and severe HMB (BAT HMB domain score ≥2; 90%).
Bleeding complications found included anemia (21%), iron deficiency (60%), hospitalization (10%), and transfusion requirement (12%)