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Von Willebrand Disease (VWD)
Part 3: VWF Activity Assay

A New von Willebrand Factor Activity Assay and Testing Algorithm

History of VWF Ristocetin Cofactor Activity (VWF:RCo) Assay

Slide 3

June 2011

VWF activity assay is required to diagnose and correctly classify von Willebrand disease or acquired von Willebrand syndrome. VWF ristocetin cofactor activity assay is considered a reference method to assess VWF-platelet-binding activity. In 1971, Dr. Howard and Firkin first observed ristocetin-induced platelet aggregation, which was apparently defective in von Willebrand disease patients. 2 years later, Dr. Weiss developed the first VWF ristocetin cofactor activity assay. We validated this assay in 1975 and have performed this assay as part of our VWD panel for the past 35 years. In the last year, we performed about 10 thousand VWF ristocetin cofactor activity assays with the majority of samples from Mayo Medical Laboratories.

History of VWF:RCo Assay


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