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Keywords:

  • von Willebrand factor;
  • platelets;
  • myeloproliferative disorders;
  • bleeding, aspirin

We have investigated the relationship between platelet count and large VWF (von Willebrand factor) multimers in the plasma of 36 patients with essential thrombocythaemia (ET) and 26 patients with reactive thrombocytosis (RT). In both ET and RT patients an inverse relationship could be established between platelet count and large VWF multimers in plasma as well in relatively decreased ristocetin cofactor/von Willebrand factor antigen and collagen binding activity/von Willebrand factor antigen ratios. A normalization of the platelet count was accompanied by restoration of a normal plasma VWF multimeric distribution. Our data suggest that increasing numbers of platelets circulating in blood result in increased removal of large VWF multimers from plasma.