Intracranial haemorrhage in von Willebrand disease: a report on six cases

Authors


Correspondence: Dr. Manuel D. Carcao, Division of Hematology/Oncology, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5G 1X8, Canada.

Tel.: +1 416 813 5367; fax: +1 416 813 5327;

e-mail: manuel.carcao@sickkids.ca

Summary

The incidence of intracranial haemorrhage (ICH) in von Willebrand disease (VWD) is not well documented. We describe our single centre experience regarding ICH in children with VWD and identify how such children presented and were managed. Thirty-three head trauma events leading to medical attention occurred in 24 of 153 children with VWD followed in our institution. In only 15 of these were computed tomography (CT) imaging studies performed; seven in children with type 1 VWD, one in a child with type 2N VWD and seven in children with type 3 VWD. In six of these 15 episodes an ICH was identified: two children with type 1 VWD, one child with type 2N VWD and three children with type 3 VWD. In two of the 6 cases an ICH was only confirmed following a second CT scan. Neurological symptoms, including vomiting (noted in all six), headache, irritability, lethargy and/or alteration in the level of consciousness were present in all children with confirmed ICH. In contrast vomiting, irritability and alterations in level of consciousness were never present in those children without confirmed ICH. All three children with type 3 VWD who experienced an ICH were commenced on long-term prophylaxis. ICH, although rare, does occur in children with VWD and particularly in children with type 3 VWD. A much larger cohort of patients with VWD experiencing an ICH is needed to make recommendations regarding treatment of such events, including the role of prophylaxis in patients with more severe forms of VWD.

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