This page is dedicated to organizing various examples of standardized exam questions whose answer is Von Willebrand disease. While this may seem a odd practice, it is useful to see multiple examples of how Von Willebrand disease will be characterized on standardized exams (namely the boards and the shelf exams). This page is not meant to be used as a traditional question bank (as all of the answers will be the same), however seeing the classic “test” characterization for a disease is quite valuable.
KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS CONDITION (ON EXAMS)
When it comes to standardized exams, each condition has its own “code” marked by key buzzwords, lab findings, clues, etc. If you are well versed in this code you will be able to more quickly identify the condition that is being discussed, and get the right answer on the exam you are taking. Below is the “code” for Von Willebrand disease.
- Increased bleeding: easy bruising, heavy menses, excessive bleeding after surgery
- Increased bleeding time + NORMAL platelet counts
- Increased PTT
- Normal PT
Question # 1
Explanation # 1
Question # 2
Explanation # 2
TESTABLE FACTS ABOUT THIS CONDITION (BEYOND ITS IDENTIFICATION)
Many questions on standardized exams go beyond simply recognizing the underlying condition. Often there are specific testable facts regarding some aspect of the disease’s pathophysiology/management/clinical implications that are commonly asked. Some of these are listed below:
- Mode of inheritance: autosomal dominant inheritance (sometimes acquired)
- Cause: deficiency of von Willebrand factor (vWF)
- Function of vWF:
- Promotes platelet adhesion: crosslinks pallet glycoproteins (primarily GpIb) with exposed collagen underneath damaged epithelium. :
- Protective carrier protein of factor VIII: vWF increases the plasma half life of this coagulation factor.
- Consequence of deficiency:
- Deficiency of factor VIII: without being bound by vWF, this factor is quickly degraded in the serum.
Page Updated: 04.02.2017