Hamostaseologie 2020; 40(04): 431-442
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1713735
Review Article

Navigating the Myriad of von Willebrand Factor Assays

Emmanuel J. Favaloro
1  Department of Haematology, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research (ICPMR), NSW Health Pathology, Westmead Hospital, Westmead NSW, Australia
2  Sydney Centres for Thrombosis and Haemostasis, Westmead Hospital, Westmead NSW, Australia
3  School of Biomedical Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia
› Author Affiliations


von Willebrand factor (VWF) represents a large and complex adhesive plasma protein whose main function is to provide a bridge between blood platelets and damaged endothelium, and thus facilitate primary hemostasis. VWF also binds to FVIII, preventing early proteolysis, and delivers this cargo to sites of vascular injury, thereby promoting clot formation and secondary hemostasis. An absence, deficiency, or defect in VWF can lead to a bleeding diathesis called von Willebrand disease (VWD), considered the most common inherited bleeding disorder. Contemporary laboratory assays used in VWD diagnosis/exclusion comprise a myriad of assays that identify the quantity (level) of VWF, as well as the multitude of VWF activities. These may use the following test abbreviations: VWF:Ag, VWF:RCo, VWF:CB, VWF:GPIbR, VWF:GPIbM, VWF:FVIIB, VWF:Ab. The current review explains what these assays are, as well as their place in VWD diagnostics.

Supplementary Material

Publication History

Received: 01 April 2020

Accepted: 18 May 2020

Publication Date:
26 June 2020 (online)

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