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Original research
Prognostic value of von Willebrand factor in adult patients with congenital heart disease


Objectives von Willebrand factor (vWF) has prognostic value in patients with heart failure (HF) and in those with liver disease. Liver congestion, due to right-sided HF (RHF), is one of the major clinical pathophysiologic manifestations in adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD). The present study’s purpose was to clarify the prognostic value of plasma levels of vWF antigen (vWF:Ag) in ACHD.

Methods We measured vWF:Ag (%) in 382 consecutive patients (20 unrepaired cyanotic ACHD, 172 Fontan patients and 190 ACHD after biventricular repair) and compared the results with the clinical profiles and prognosis.

Results The plasma vWF:Ag level was 130±53 (normal range: 55%–190%), and 48 patients (13%) showed high levels of vWF:Ag (≥190%). Older age, Fontan circulation, higher central venous pressure, lower arterial oxygen saturation and lower plasma levels of albumin were independently associated with high log (vWF:Ag) (p<0.05–0.0001). During the follow-up of 2.4±1.4 years, 15 patients died. High log (vWF:Ag) predicted the all-cause mortality (HR 1.63 per 0.1, 95% CI 1.40 to 1.96, p<0.0001). Specifically, patients with high vWF:Ag (≥165%) had a substantially higher risk of all-cause mortality (HR 56.4, 95% CI 11.4 to 1020, p<0.0001), and this prognostic value was independent of plasma levels of brain-type natriuretic peptide.

Conclusions High vWF:Ag may reflect RHF severity and related liver dysfunction with a strong prognostic value of all-cause mortality in ACHD. Thus, vWF:Ag might be an excellent biomarker for monitoring ACHD with RHF.

  • complex congenital heart disease

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