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Keywords:

  • desmopressin;
  • factor VIII concentrate;
  • pregnancy;
  • thrombocytopenia;
  • von Willebrand disease

Summary.  Type 2B von Willebrand disease (VWD) is a rare, inherited bleeding disorder resulting from a qualitative defect in von Willebrand factor (VWF). There is very little published information on how to quantify bleeding risk and manage haemostasis in type 2B VWD patients during pregnancy. This article presents the changes in VWF parameters and details of patient management and delivery outcomes for four pregnancies in three women with two different mutations causing type 2B VWD. We report an unexpected rise in the VWF:Ag at 37 weeks gestation in two sisters with R1306W associated with significant thrombocytopenia. These patients were supported with platelet transfusions as well as intermediate purity VWF-FVIII plasma concentrates during the peri- and postpartum periods. No thrombocytopenia was observed in our third case with a mutation encoding an R1308C substitution; haemostatic support was with intermediate purity VWF-FVIII plasma concentrates alone. No adverse bleeding events occurred and in all cases a live healthy infant was delivered. One patient was readmitted post partum with bleeding symptoms due to retained placenta; no further haemostatic support was given at this time. This case series is the first to detail the progression of laboratory parameters, management and outcomes of pregnancy in patients with type 2B VWD. The cases illustrate some of the challenges posed by the increased production of a VWF variant with a gain-of-function effect. The rapid coagulation changes observed in this series illustrate the need for continual monitoring of VWF parameters and platelet count throughout pregnancy in women with type 2B VWD.