Background: Acute heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) is common for adolescent females, with about a quarter of menstruating females seeking care for HMB over a 3-year time period (O'Brien et al, Blood 2018). Inherited bleeding disorders are common in this adolescent population, identified in 24.6% referred for hematologic evaluation (Zia et al, Blood 2016). The timing and contents of the hemostatic workup for acute HMB in adolescents is extrapolated from adults, although the causes of acute HMB varies significantly between adult women and adolescents. A consensus statement by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends obtaining a variety of hemostatic tests including CBC, von Willebrand studies, factor VIII, prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, fibrinogen, and thyroid stimulating hormone at the time of presentation (Committee Opinion 557, ACOG 2011).
Factor VIII and Von Willebrand studies are known to be increased in the setting of physiologic stress and supplemental estrogen use, questioning their diagnostic accuracy in the setting of acute bleeding. Repeat testing is often required for diagnosis of von Willebrand disease A von Willebrand factor antigen (VWF:Ag) or von Willebrand factor ristocetin cofactor level over 100IU/dL has been shown to have a negative predictive value (NPV) of 95%.(Doshi et al, ASH 2018).
Methods: As part of a quality improvement initiative to improve the evaluation and management of adolescents with HMB at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), we instituted an acute HMB protocol for emergency department (ED) and inpatient use. This protocol was implemented at all CHOA emergency departments in metropolitan Atlanta. Subjects were included if they presented with acute HMB as determined by an adapted Philip Menorrhagia Screening Tool. Subjects with a previously diagnosed bleeding disorder, ITP, active rheumatologic disease, cancer, or anticoagulant use were excluded. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize demographics and clinical characteristics. Patients with a positive Philip screen underwent a uniform bleeding inventory and a standardized set of laboratory tests based on the adult consensus statement. Inpatient and outpatient treatments were standardized by hemoglobin level and symptomology. Follow up with hematology and gynecology was encouraged for all. Data was extracted using various heavy menstrual bleeding ICD-10 codes from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018. Individuals with von Willebrand studies at baseline and follow up were identified. T-tests and Wilcoxon rank sum tests were utilized to compare VWF:Ag, VWF:RCo and Factor VIII as baseline and follow up.
Results: Over a 2-year period, 232 adolescent girls were seen in CHOA EDs for acute HMB with 88 (37.9%) requiring admission and 6 (2.6%) requiring intensive care. The population was primarily African American (63%) with a median age at presentation of 14.8 years (IQR 13.1-16.7). The majority of adolescents had the core hemostatic labs drawn (55.6%) as described per protocol. Thirty-six individuals had baseline and follow up VWD studies. Those with repeat VWD studies were younger (median 13.2 years vs 15.0 years), more commonly white (44.4% vs 21.2%), were more likely to have been admitted (83.3% vs 29.6%) and more likely to have had a hematology follow up appointment (63.4% vs 7.8%). Mean and median VWF:Ag, VWF:RCo and Factor VIII were significantly higher at presentation with HMB than at follow up. Of those with a baseline VWF:Ag and/or VWF:RCo >100, there was a 96.4% NPV for the diagnosis of VWD. For individuals whose initial VWF:Ag and VCWF:RCo were both >100, there was 100% NPV.
Conclusions: Among the adolescents cared for at our institution with acute HMB who had confirmatory VWD testing, initial VWF:Ag and VWF:RCo >100 ruled out VWD based on repeat testing. However, poor adherence with hematology or gynecology follow-up may give false reassurance against a diagnosis of VWD. Further improvements of our quality improvement initiative will include a limited hemostatic workup at presentation with a focus on improved adherence to follow up and subsequent hemostatic evaluation.
White:National Hemophilia Foundation: Other: Shire Clinical Fellowship Program. Sidonio:Kedrion: Research Funding; Novo Nordisk: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Takeda-Shire: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Bioverativ: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Genetech: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Octapharma: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Grifols: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Biomarin: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Uniqure: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.