Evaluation of an automated method for measuring von Willebrand factor activity in clinical samples without ristocetin
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INTRODUCTION: The development of an automated, von Willebrand factor (VWF) activity assay, Innovance(®) VWF Ac (VWF:Ac), which measures VWF binding to the platelet receptor glycoprotein Ibα without ristocetin, led us to evaluate the assay for diagnosing von Willebrand disease (VWD) and monitoring therapy. METHODS: After validating that the assay could be performed on an instrument from a different manufacturer, we compared VWF:Ac to VWF ristocetin cofactor activity (VWF:RCo) findings, including ratios of activity/antigen, for 100 healthy controls and 262 consecutive clinical samples from 217 patients (197 adults, 64 children, n = 1 age unknown) referred for VWF testing. RESULTS: There was excellent correlation (R(2) = 0.96) between VWF:Ac results run at two different sites on two different instruments. VWF:Ac had greater precision and sensitivity to low levels of VWF than the VWF:RCo method. Although there was good correlation between VWF:Ac and VWF:RCo results among healthy controls and patient subjects, VWF:Ac results were undetectable and/or significantly lower than VWF:RCo among patients who had types 2A, 2B, or 2M VWD. Additionally, a higher proportion of patient samples were classified as showing qualitative defects using the VWF:Ac compared with VWF:RCo method. While most samples drawn on VWD therapy had similar VWF levels by VWF:Ac and VWF:RCo, a type 2B VWD subject on replacement had much lower activity estimated by VWF:Ac. CONCLUSION: We conclude that Innovance(®) VWF Ac is suitable for the diagnosis, classification, and monitoring of VWD, and that it has a number of advantages over VWF:RCo method.
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