Von Willebrand factor for menorrhagia
Background: von Willebrand disease (VWD) is the most common congenital bleeding disorder. In women, menorrhagia is the most common bleeding symptom, and is disabling with iron deficiency anaemia, high health cost and poor quality of life. Current hormonal and non-hormonal therapies are limited by ineffectiveness and intolerance. Few data exist regarding von Willebrand factor (VWF), typically prescribed when other treatments fail. The lack of effective therapy for menorrhagia remains the greatest unmet healthcare need in women with VWD. Better therapies are needed to treat women with menorrhagia. Methods: We conducted a survey of US haemophilia treatment centres (HTCs) and a literature review using medical subject heading (MeSH) search terms 'von Willebrand factor,' 'menorrhagia' and 'von Willebrand disease' to assess the use of VWF in menorrhagia. Analysis was by descriptive statistics. Results: Of 83 surveys distributed to HTC MDs, 20 (24.1%) provided sufficient data for analysis. Of 1321 women with VWD seen during 2011-2014, 816 (61.8%) had menorrhagia, for which combined oral contraceptives, tranexamic acid and desmopressin were the most common first-line therapies for menorrhagia, whereas VWF was third-line therapy reported in 13 women (1.6%). Together with data from 88 women from six published studies, VWF safely reduced menorrhagia in 101 women at a dose of 33-100 IU kg(-1) on day 1-6 of menstrual cycle. Conclusions: This represents the largest VWD menorrhagia treatment experience to date. VWF safely and effectively reduces menorrhagia in women with VWD. A prospective clinical trial is planned to confirm these findings.