Background & Objectives: Diagnosis and classification of VWD are currently based on integration of personal and family bleeding histories and results of protein-based diagnostic tests (VWF:Ag, VWF:RCo, FVIII:C, VWF:CB and VWF multimers) which have performance limitations. Genetic testing is emerging as a complementary diagnostic tool. We have identified mutations and correlated VWF multimer patterns in our patients (pt) with types 2 & 3 VWD, and report novel candidate mutations.

Patients & Methods: Unrelated pt with type 3 (n=6) and subtypes 2 (n=22) VWD, from Mayo Comprehensive Hemophilia Center, consented to this IRB approved study. PCR amplification, from genomic DNA, of VWF gene (splice junctions, coding and promoter regions), avoiding pseudogene amplification, followed by ABIĀ® sequencing and analysis (Mutation Surveyor: SoftGeneticĀ®) were performed. Mutations were compared to VWD (ISTH), NCBI NR nucleotide and DV SNP databases. Comparison with available VWF sequences from other vertebrate species was performed. Selected regions not known to contain mutations remain to be sequenced. VWF multimer analysis was performed using a novel in-gel immunostaining and infrared imaging system.

Results: Type 2A VWD (n=10), a novel mutation in exon 28 (E28) (V1524G: 2 pt) with characteristic VWF multimer abnormalities (decreased HMWM, increased satellite banding, suggesting enhanced VWF proteolysis). Type 2B VWD (n=6), 2 pt were compound heterozygous for 2 previously reported mutations, the first in E28 (R1306W)/E48 (T2647M) and the second in E28 (V1316M)/E20 (R854Q). Type 2M VWD (n=4):

  • an 84 yr female with personal (spontaneous and post-surgical) and family bleeding histories, VWF:RCo 72%, VWF:Ag 118% (RCo:Ag ratio 0.61), normal FVIII and platelets, and aberrant VWF multimer banding pattern without substantive reduction of HMWM, had a novel mutation in E52 (S2775C; conserved in mouse, rat, chicken and dog);

  • a 14 yr female with a history of bleeding, VWF:RCo 34%, VWF:Ag 68% (RCo:Ag ratio 0.5) and normal FVIII and platelets, was compound heterozygous for a known mutation (R1399C subtype not classified in VWD database) and two novel mutations: E30 (P1725S) (conserved in mouse, rat, dog, cow and chimp) & E49 (T2666M) (conserved in mouse, dog, rat not in chicken). VWF multimers demonstrated abnormal banding pattern without substantive reduction of HMWM;

  • 2 unrelated pt and families with ultra-large and smeary multimers, previously classified as Vicenza variant, had R1374C mutations and were reclassified as Type 2M VWD. Type 2N VWD (n=1) previously reported mutation E20 (R854Q) was confirmed.

Type 3 VWD, 2 pt had novel mutations, the first in E22 (E950X) and the second was a compound heterozygote for E43 (R2478Q)/E40 (E2322V) mutations. In general, patients with similar mutations had similar multimer patterns.

Conclusions: We report novel candidate mutations in types 2 & 3 VWD and demonstrate novel VWF multimer patterns with our in-gel staining system. Multimer patterns correlated well with the underlying genotype. The novel mutations are likely causative, given their occurrence at highly conserved residues, but this needs to be confirmed with expression studies. Integration of genetic testing into the diagnostic workup of VWD will potentially lead to more accurate diagnosis and subtyping of VWD, and may further refine protein based testing and provide additional biological insight into VWD.

Author notes

Disclosure: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.