Coagulation laboratory tests
von Willebrand factor antigen assay

Topic Completed: 1 November 2012

Revised: 7 January 2019, last major update November 2012

Copyright: (c) 2002-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Coagulation laboratory tests AND von Willebrand factor antigen assay

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Definition / general | Laboratory
Cite this page: Parsons J. von Willebrand factor antigen assay. website. Accessed July 10th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Levels can increase 2 - 3x with injury, infection or other acute phase reactant stimulus (30% level at baseline can increase to 90% by the time the patient is tested); can determine presence of acute phase reaction by measuring fibrinogen
  • Reference range is higher in children < 6 months old than adults (abnormal value in 3 month old may be normal for an adult)
  • Minor injuries may produce major bleeds in children, leading to false accusations of child abuse
  • Type O patients have significantly lower vWF antigen levels (75%) compared to type A (106%), type B (117%) and type AB (123%); although bleeding symptoms may depend on vWF antigen levels, regardless of ABO type
  • Used to determine if patient with personal or family history of bleeding has von Willebrand disease; also to assist in determining hemophilia A carrier status in females
  • ELISA assay measures quantity of vWF, not function (Can J Vet Res 2008;72:420)
  • Can also use latex particles coated with anti-vWF antibodies, measure light absorbance; rocket immunoelectrophoresis
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