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Keywords:

  • Canine;
  • von Willebrand Disease;
  • factor VIII activit;
  • carriers

This study was conducted to determine the relationship between factor VIII (FVIII) activity and von Willebrand factor antigen (vWf:Ag) concentration in canine von Willebrand Disease (vWD). In addition, the clinical utility of measuring FVIII activity in vWD was assessed. This was performed by the concurrent analysis of both FVIII activity and vWf:Ag concentration in three breeds of dogs, namely Dobermans (n = 183), Scottish Terriers (n = 169), and Labrador Retrievers (n = 146). In the three breeds tested, linear regression analysis illustrated a positive relationship between FVIII activity and vWf:Ag concentration. This was reaffirmed in the Doberman and Scottish Terrier breeds, in which dogs with vWf:Ag concentrations > 50 CU/dL (“carriers”) had lower median FVIII activities than dogs with vWf:Ag concentrations > 70 CU/dL (“normals”). The determination of various FVIII “cut-off” values was a poor test to separate Dobermans with and without clinical signs of hemorrhage attributable to vWD. In addition, the occurrence of hemorrhage in Dobermans with vWf:Ag concentrations > 50 CU/dL was not influenced by the FVIII activity. Various tests were performed to determine if the measurement of FVIII activity aided in the identification of “carriers” of the vWD gene in the Doberman and Scottish Terrier breeds. These included the use of optimal FVIII “cut-off” values for each breed and a FVIII “cut-off” value of 55 CU/dL; FVIII/vWf:Ag ratios and FVIII/vWf:Ag ratio “cut-off” values; and linear regression analysis of vWf:Ag concentration against FVIII activity. Of all these tests, only the determination of FVIII/vWf:Ag ratios appeared to have promise for “carrier” detection. The data in the present study indicated that routine FVIII assessment in vWD is not warranted; however, measurement of FVIII activity may be of use in confirming the “carrier” status of vWD.