Abstract

Background - Acquired von Willebrand syndrome (AVWS) has been reported to occur in association with monoclonal gammopathy, usually of undetermined significance (MGUS). It may present as a type 1 or type 2 von Willebrand factor (VWF) defect depending on the patient’s representation of large VWF multimers.
Materials and methods - The mathematical model by Galvanin et al., already employed for studying inherited von Willebrand disease (VWD), was used to explore the pathogenic mechanisms behind MGUS-associated AVWS.
Results - The patients studied showed significantly reduced VWF levels and function; an increased VWF propeptide to VWF antigen ratio; and all VWF multimers present but in reduced quantities, with the low-molecular-weight VWF forms being significantly more represented than those of higher molecular weight. Our mathematical model revealed a significantly increased VWF elimination rate constant, with values similar to those of type Vicenza VWD. An even more increased VWF proteolysis rate constant was observed, with values one order of magnitude higher than in type 2A VWD but, in contrast, no loss of large multimers. The model predicted the same elimination rate for high- and low-molecular-weight VWF multimers, but proteolysis of the high-molecularweight forms also contributes to the pool of low-molecular-weight oligomers, which explains why they were relatively over-represented.
Discussion - In MGUS-associated AVWS the increase of both clearance and proteolysis contributes to the circulating levels and multimer pattern of VWF, with a phenotype that appears to be a combination of type Vicenza and type 2A VWD. Hence, the mechanisms behind the onset of AVWS seem to differ from those of inherited VWD.

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Authors

Eva Galletta - Department of Medicine, First Chair of Internal Medicine, University of Padua Medical School, Padua, Italy

Federico Galvanin - Department of Chemical Engineering, University College London, London, United Kingdom

Antonella Bertomoro - Department of Medicine, First Chair of Internal Medicine, University of Padua Medical School, Padua, Italy

Viviana Daidone - Department of Medicine, First Chair of Internal Medicine, University of Padua Medical School, Padua, Italy

Alessandra Casonato - Department of Medicine, First Chair of Internal Medicine, University of Padua Medical School, Padua, Italy

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