What is the role of the von Willebrand factor (vWf) in hemostasis rand platelet disorders?

Updated: Aug 05, 2017
  • Author: Perumal Thiagarajan, MD; Chief Editor: Srikanth Nagalla, MBBS, MS, FACP  more...
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Answer

Answer

vWf has a major role in primary hemostasis as mediator of the initial shear-stress–induced interaction of the platelet to the subendothelium via the GP Ib complex. In addition, von Willebrand protein acts as a carrier and stabilizer of coagulation factor VIII by forming a complex in the circulation.

In the absence of vWf, the factor VIII activity level is low. Unlike classic hemophilia A, in which the factor VIII activity level is low because of a defect in factor VIII itself, in von Willebrand disease the factor VIII activity level is low because of a deficiency in its carrier protein.


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