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CME: von Willebrand's disease (vWD): therapeutic updates and optimizing treatment


AN ACCREDITED UP-TO-DATE VERSION OF THIS TOPIC CAN BE FOUND AT: von Willebrand's disease: an in-depth review of management strategies

Activity Description / Statement of Need:

In this online, self-learning activity:

Von Willebrand disease (vWD) is the most common congenital bleeding disorder worldwide. Affecting both male and female births in equal number, vWD is caused by a deficiency or defect in the von Willebrand factor (vWF) glycoprotein, which is responsible for mediating platelet and coagulation factor VIII function. vWD types 1 and 3 are caused by quantitative deficiencies in vWF. In contrast, type 2 vWD is caused by a qualitative defect in the production of vWF. Type 1 is the most common type of vWD, accounting for 60% to 70% of cases, followed by type 2, which is diagnosed in 25% to 30% of patients. Type 3 vWD, the rarest form, affects about 1 in 1,000,000 people. There is evidence that the use of factor VIII/vWF concentrates should be individualized, but no recent vWD guidelines address this issue. Although DDAVP is the treatment of choice for most type 1 vWD patients, data do not support the use of DDAVP for type 2B vWD owing in part to an increased risk for thrombocytopenia. Another practice gap is a lack of guidance around the appropriate ages at which patients with severe vWD are optimally initiated on vWF prophylaxis. Furthermore, although DDAVP is not contraindicated in pregnancy, 31% of physicians consider DDAVP a contraindication according to the results of one survey, illustrating a present area of controversy in practice.

Target Audience:

The following healthcare professionals: Hematologists and primary care physicians; physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists who practice in hematology; and any other healthcare professionals with an interest in or who clinically encounter patients with vWD.

Commercial Support Disclosure: This program is supported by an educational grant from Grifols.

Learners may participate in this activity free of charge.

Release Date: March 07, 2021 -- Expiration Date: March 07, 2023

Faculty: Rajiv Pruthi, MD


Faculty introduction, disclosures

Definitions, epidemiology, pathophysiology

Diagnosis of vWD and related challenges [Learning objectives #1]

  • Problems with diagnosing patients with vWD
  • Lack of consensus among physicians regarding best treatment practices
  • Using appropriate patient reporting tools to assess patient histories
  • Diagnostic tests used according to guidelines

Present areas of research and contemporary controversies around vWD treatments [Learning Objectives #2, & 3]

  • An evidence-based approach
  • Appropriate age to initiate treatments in subtypes of vWD
  • Discussion of subtypes and their clinical differences in providing treatment
  • Role of DDAVP and its contraindications in vWD
  • Surgery and prophylactic vWF replacement
  • Management of menorrhagia with vWF

Patient case(s) [Learning Objective #3]

Summary, conclusions, and best practice recap

Learning Objectives

By the end of the session the participant will be able to:

  • Describe the challenges associated with diagnosis and treatment of vWD.
  • Recall pharmacotherapeutic options for treatment of vWD.
  • Formulate treatment strategies for patients with vWD.


ACCME Activity #201718495


Faculty Disclosure and Resolution of COI

As a provider of continuing medical education, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all of its educational activities. In accordance with this policy, faculty and educational planners must disclose any significant relationships with commercial interests whose products or devices may be mentioned in faculty presentations, and any relationships with the commercial supporter of the activity. The intent of this disclosure is to provide the intended audience with information on which they can make their own judgments. Additionally, in the event a conflict of interest (COI) does exist, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure that the COI is resolved in order to ensure the integrity of the CME activity. For this CME activity, any COI has been resolved thru content review ScientiaCME.

Faculty Disclosures: Rajiv K. Pruthi, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of Comprehensive Hemophilia Center, Mayo Clinic, has received financial compensation from advisory boards from CSL Behring, Genentech, Bayer, HEMA Biologics, Instrumentation Laboratory, and Merck.

Disclosures of Educational Planners: Charles Turck, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP, CEO of ScientiaCME, has no relevant conflicts of interest to disclose.

Commercial Support Disclosure: This program is supported by an educational grant from Grifols.


  • Read the learning objectives above
  • Take the Pre-Test (optional). Completion of the pre-test will help us evaluate the knowledge gained by participating in this CME activity.
  • View the online activity. You may view this is in more than one session, and may pause or repeat any portion of the presentation if you need to.
  • Minimum participation threshold: Take the post-test. A score of 70% or higher is required to pass and proceed to the activity evaluation.
  • Complete the activity evaluation and CME registration. A CE certificate will be emailed to you immediately.

Cultural/Linguistic Competence & Health Disparities

System Requirements

Windows 7 or above
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Mac OS 10.2.8
Safari or Chrome or Firefox
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Internet Explorer is not supported on the Macintosh

*Required to view Printable PDF Version

Perform Pre-Test (optional)

Please take a few minutes to participate in the optional pre-test. It will help us measure the knowledge gained by participating in this activity.

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von Willebrand's disease: an in-depth review of management strategies