Recent multicenter studies have clarified the molecular basis underlying the different von Willebrand disease (VWD) types, all of which are caused by the deficiency and/or abnormality of von Willebrand factor (VWF). These studies have suggested a unifying pathophysiologic concept. The diagnosis of VWD, remains difficult because its clinical and laboratory phenotype is very heterogeneous and may overlap with normal subjects. Stringent criteria are therefore required for a clinically useful diagnosis. In this paper, we delineate a practical approach to the diagnosis and treatment of VWD.