Questions About Bleeding Disorders
More Information on von Willebrand Disease
Can you be more specific on how one gets von Willebrand
von Willebrand disease is usually inherited
from one parent who has an abnormal von Willebrand factor
gene. The abnormal gene is located on a chromosome called
an autosomal chromosome or an autosome, rather than a sex-linked
(X) chromosome. Therefore, both men and women may pass the
VWD gene to their offspring. A parent with von Willebrand
disease has a 50% chance of passing the disease to each of
his or her children, male or female. VWD also can occur in
families with no known family history of the disorder. Individuals
whose VWD is the result of such a mutation may also pass
the disease to their children.
What is von Willebrand factor?
von Willebrand factor (VWF) is a clotting protein
produced in the cells that line blood vessels. VWF is composed
of small chains that combine to form larger chains called
multimers that help the blood to clot. VWF has two functions
in the clotting process: 1) acting as a bridge between platelets
and a site of injury so that blood can clot in the right
place and 2) to protect factor VIII, an essential protein
in blood clotting.