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scientific articles

The rate of hemolysis in sickle cell disease correlates with the quantity of active von Willebrand factor in the plasma

key information

source: Blood

year: 2011

authors: Chen J, Hobbs WE, Le J, Lenting PJ, de Groot PG, López JA


Vaso-occlusion, hemolysis, and oxidative stress are hallmarks of sickle cell disease (SCD). This pathology is accompanied by systemic endothelial activation, rendering the endothelium more adhesive for blood cells, including sickle erythrocytes. Activated endothelial cells display or secrete several adhesive molecules, including von Willebrand factor (VWF). We assessed several VWF parameters in SCD patients at baseline: multimer pattern, antigen concentration (VWF:Ag), activation factor (VWF:AF), and total active VWF (VWF:TA). VWF:AF was determined using a llama nanobody (AU/VWFa-11) that detects a platelet-binding conformation of the A1 domain; VWF:TA was calculated by multiplying VWF:Ag by VWF:AF. SCD plasma contained elevated VWF:Ag and ultralarge VWF multimers. VWF:TA, a measure of total VWF reactivity, correlated closely with hemolysis, as determined by serum lactate dehydrogenase. ADAMTS13 activity and antigen were normal in all patients. These findings suggest an important role for hyperreactive VWF in SCD pathology and connect SCD to other microangiopathies, particularly thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.

organization: Puget Sound Blood Center, Seattle, USA

DOI: 10.1182/blood-2010-08-302539

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