The BloodCenter of Wisconsin (BCW) recently announced the launch of a new and more sensitive test for von Willebrand disease (VWD), a genetic disorder characterized by either a qualitative or quantitative flaw in von Willebrand factor (VWF). Milwaukee-based BCW is a not-for-profit organization that specializes in blood services, organ, tissue and marrow donation, diagnostic testing, medical services and research.

Depending on the specific type, individuals with VWD can experience bleeding-related symptoms that range from mild to severe. Despite being the most common bleeding disorder VWD is historically a more challenging condition to screen for, often necessitating a battery of tests to pinpoint a diagnosis.

The “VWF GPIbM Activity” test is designed to uncover qualitative VWF defects to reduce variability and provide “more precise, reliable and sensitive test results,” according to a BCW press release. The availability of the test could be a boon to clinicians, particularly hematologists encountering potential cases of VWD.

“As a physician caring for individuals with inherited bleeding disorders, this development is an exciting advancement in von Willebrand disease diagnostics,” said Jonathan Roberts, MD, Associate Medical Director, Bleeding & Clotting Disorders Institute, Peoria, IL. “This assay will reduce some of the diagnostic challenges in caring for individuals with von Willebrand disease.”

Source: BloodCenter of Wisconsin press release dated April 4, 2017