Von Willebrand Disease (VWD) is a common inherited bleeding disorder. Patients with VWD suffering from severe bleeding may benefit from the use of secondary long-term prophylaxis.
Systematically summarize the evidence on the clinical outcomes of secondary long-term prophylaxis in patients with VWD and severe recurrent bleedings.
We searched Medline and EMBASE through October 2019 for relevant randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and comparative observational studies (OS) assessing the effects of secondary long-term prophylaxis in patients with VWD. We used Cochrane Risk of Bias (RoB) tool and the RoB for Non-Randomized Studies of interventions (ROBINS-I) tool to assess the quality of the included studies. We conducted random-effects meta-analyses and assessed the certainty of the evidence using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach.
We included 12 studies. Evidence from one placebo controlled RCT suggested that VWD prophylaxis as compared to no prophylaxis reduced the rate of bleeding episodes (Rate ratio [RR], .24; 95% confidence interval [CI], .17-.35; low certainty evidence), and of epistaxis (RR, .38; 95%CI, .21-.67; moderate certainty evidence), and may increase serious adverse events RR 2.73 (95%CI .12-59.57; low certainty). Evidence from four before-and-after studies in which researchers reported comparative data suggested that VWD prophylaxis reduced the rate of bleeding (RR .34; 95%CI, .25-.46; very low certainty evidence).
VWD prophylaxis treatment seems to reduce the risk of spontaneous bleeding, epistaxis, and hospitalizations. More RCTs should be conducted to increase the certainty in these benefits.

© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.