Plasma and rhADAMTS13 reduce trauma-induced organ failure by restoring the ADAMTS13-VWF axis

Derek J B Kleinveld*, Derek D G Simons, BloodNet, Charlotte Dekimpe, Shannen J Deconinck, Pieter H Sloos, M Adrie W Maas, Jesper Kers, Joshua Muia, Karim Brohi, Jan Voorberg, Karen Vanhoorelbeke, Markus W Hollmann, Nicole P Juffermans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Trauma-induced organ failure is characterized by endothelial dysfunction. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of von Willebrand factor (VWF) and its cleaving enzyme, ADAMTS13 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin type 1 motifs, member 13) in the occurrence of endothelial permeability and organ failure in trauma. In an observational study in a level-1 trauma center, 169 adult trauma patients with clinical signs of shock and/or severe injuries were included. Trauma was associated with low ADAMTS13 and high VWF antigen levels, thus generating an imbalance of ADAMTS13 to VWF. Patients who developed organ failure (23%) had greater ADAMTS13-to-VWF imbalances, persistently lower platelet counts, and elevated levels of high-molecular-weight VWF multimers compared with those without organ failure, suggesting microthrombi formation. To investigate the effect of replenishing low ADAMTS13 levels on endothelial permeability and organ failure using either recombinant human ADAMTS13 (rhADAMTS13) or plasma transfusion, a rat model of trauma-induced shock and transfusion was used. Rats in traumatic hemorrhagic shock were randomized to receive crystalloids, crystalloids supplemented with rhADAMTS13, or plasma transfusion. A 70-kDa fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled dextran was injected to determine endothelial leakage. Additionally, organs were histologically assessed. Both plasma transfusion and rhADAMTS13 were associated with a reduction in pulmonary endothelial permeability and organ injury when compared with resuscitation with crystalloids, but only rhADAMTS13 resulted in significant improvement of a trauma-induced decline in ADAMTS13 levels. We conclude that rhADAMTS13 and plasma transfusion can reduce organ failure following trauma. These findings implicate the ADAMTS13-VWF axis in the pathogenesis of organ failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3478-3491
Number of pages14
JournalBlood advances
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2021

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© 2021 by The American Society of Hematology.


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