Von Willebrand disease and its impact on women

Von Willebrand disease – particularly its clinical aspects and its impact on the female population – was the main  topic discussed at the scientific-educational event entitled “One-Day Focus on Von Willebrand Disease: Multidisciplinary Aspects”, held on December 10 in Florence at the Istituto degli Innocenti, a historic institution devoted to protecting the rights of mothers and their children. Kedrion demonstrated its support by providing an unconditional grant for this event, the objective of which  was to promote ongoing education and training on this rare disease in the medical-scientific community.

Von Willebrand disease is the most common congenital bleeding disorder, and epidemiological studies show that it affects 1-2% of the population. This condition, which is caused by a deficiency or defect in von Willebrand factor (VWF), has highly variable manifestations, ranging from common bleeding to severe hemorrhaging that can be the result of gastrointestinal and intra-articular bleeding. These symptoms can significantly affect the quality of life of patients living with this disease. 

The event was sponsored by the Italian Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics (SIGO), the Association of Italian Hospital Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AOGOI) and by PREIS SCHOOL (Permanent International and European School of Perinatal, Neonatal and Reproductive Medicine).

Over the course of the day, 14 clinicians – among the most renowned experts in the field – offered their insights and opinions. Their viewpoints lead to a multidisciplinary discussion aimed at investigating the possibility of improving the diagnosis of this disease and the treatment of patients, even with long-term prophylactic approaches. The specialists pointed out that today  it is very difficult to diagnose this disease in Italy – especially in non-specialized centers –  and that, generally, further in-depth examinations and more accurate tests are required to confirm this condition.

Of particular interest was the round table discussion on VWF deficiency in women. The condition causes heavy and recurrent menstrual bleeding and has a significant negative impact on quality of life.  The prevalence and nature of this disease in the female population, and the prevention and management of bleeding during pregnancy and childbirth, were the main topics of the forum, in which  gynecological experts as well as a hematologist took part, thereby reaffirming the need for a multidisciplinary diagnostic-therapeutic approach. With this in mind, Professor Gian Carlo Di Renzo, Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital of Perugia, and Giancarlo Castaman, the Scientific Coordinator of the event and Director of the Center for Bleeding Disorders and Coagulation at the Careggi University Hospital of Florence, proposed the creation of a working roundtable that would include the Italian Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics (SIGO) and the Italian Association of Hemophilia Centers (AICE), the objective of which would be to promote the development of a common shared document for the management and treatment of von Willebrand disease in gynecological patients.

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