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"Bleeding events remain a significant and frequent complication of continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (VADs). von Willebrand factor (VWF) is critical to hemostasis by acting as a bridging molecule at sites of vascular injury for normal platelet adhesion as well as promoting platelet aggregation under conditions of high shear. Clinical and experimental data support a role for acquired von Willebrand disease in VAD bleeding episodes caused by shear-induced qualitative defects in VWF. Pathologic shear induces VWF unfolding and proteolysis of large multimers into smaller less hemostatic multimers via ADAMTS13 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with a thrombospondin type 1 motif, member 13). This review outlines the pathobiology of VWF disruption in the context of VADs as well as current diagnostic and management strategies of the associated acquired von Willebrand disease."1
1. Proudfoot AG, Davidson SJ, Strueber M.
J Heart Lung Transplant. 2017 Nov;36(11):1155-1163