Clinical and In Vitro Evidence that LVAD-Induced Von Willebrand Factor Degradation May Alter Angiogenesis
Contributor: Darien Allen
GI bleeds in continuous-flow left ventricular assist device (CF-LVAD) patients are an increasing problem. Bartoli et al posit a two-hit hypothesis to explain the increased risk of mucosal bleeds in this population:
Hit 1: CF-LVAD-induced shear stress activates von Willebrand factor (VWF) multimers leading to enzymatic and mechanical degradation into variably sized fragments and acquired VWF deficiency. CF-LVAD induced VWF deficiency reduces VWF-collagen and VWF-platelet binding resulting in increased risk of mucosal bleeding.
Hit 2: Higher circulating concentrations of VWF fragments lead to altered angiogenesis and likely contribute to the development of angiodysplasia.