Abstract

In classic von Willebrand's disease (vWd), assignment of the heterozygous genotype for genetic studies and diagnosis for clinical purposes (which are not exactly the same) are formidable problems. We have pointed out in the first report in this series that almost 50% of the members of two large kindred who transmitted this disease, and were therefore heterozygous, were scored as normal by the usual tests of hemostasis. This report describes how this large proportion can be significantly reduced by application of discriminant analysis. Using linear discriminants in three variables--coagulation factor VIII (VIII:C), factor-VII-related antigen (VIIIR:Ag), and the ristocetin cofactor related to factor VIII (VIIIR:WF)--we were able to classify as heterozygous more than 80% of the transmitters in the two large kindred. It was of particular interest that the four parents of two related vWd homozygotes could be scored as heterozygous by discriminant analysis even though all their laboratory tests were within the normal ranges.

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