Get access

The role of the platelet function analyser (PFA-100TM) in the characterization of patients with von Willebrand's disease and its relationships with von Willebrand factor and the ABO blood group


Professor Christine A. Lee, Haemophilia Centre and Haemostasis Unit, Royal Free and University College Medical School, Pond Street, Hampstead, London NW3 2QH, UK.
Tel.: + 44 207 830 2068; fax: + 44 207 830 2178;


Determination of the closure time (CT) with the platelet function analyser (PFA-100TM) is a useful screening test for von Willebrand's disease (VWD) but its role in the characterization of VWD is not well established. We studied the relationship between the prolongation of the CT with adenosine diphosphate (ADP) (CT-ADP) and epinephrine (CT-EPI) cartridges and the von Willebrand factor (VWF) in 53 patients with VWD. We found that a relatively small percentage of the prolongation of the CT-ADR and CT-ADP (16 and 29%, respectively) was determined by a reduction in VWF levels. The CT-ADP was significantly more prolonged in the presence of qualitative defects in VWF but could not discriminate between the VWD subtypes. The ABO blood group had no effect on the prolongation of the CT or the bleeding time. In conclusion, the PFA-100TM appears of little use in the characterization of severity and subtype of VWD.