Von Willebrand refers to a medical condition that can lead to extended or excessive bleeding. The condition is often inherited, though in rare cases, it can develop later in life as well.
The cause of the condition is said to be a deficiency in or the impairment of a protein called von Willebrand. People with this disease take longer to form clots and stop bleeding when they have been cut. There are three major types of VWD.
In type 1 VWD, you have a low level of von Willebrand factor, and you may have lower than normal levels of factor VIII. This is the mildest and most common form of VWD. About 3 out of 4 people who have VWD have type 1.
In type 2 VWD, the von Willebrand factor doesn't work the way it should. Type 2 is divided into subtypes: 2A, 2B, 2M, and 2N. Different gene mutations (changes) cause each type, and each is treated differently. So it's important to know the exact type of VWD that you have.
In type 3 VWD, you usually have no von Willebrand factor and low levels of factor VIII. Type 3 is the most serious form of VWD, but it's very rare.
Read more articles on Von Willebrand disease.