Von Willebrand disease (vWD) type IIA is characterized by decreased ristocetin-induced platelet aggregation, and by the absence from plasma of high molecular weight multimers of von Willebrand factor (vWF). Most mutations causing vWD type IIA are clustered within the A2 domain of the mature vWF subunit that is encoded by exon 28. Using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the entire exon 28 from patients with vWD type IIA and normal controls was amplified and sequenced. Three missense mutations were detected that result in the amino acid substitutions Arg(834)→Trp, Gly(742)→Glu, and Ser(743)→Leu. The first mutation occurred independently in three unrelated families; each of the latter mutations was found in one family. By restriction endonuclease analysis and allele-specific oligonucleotide (ASO) hybridization the mutations were confirmed in affected family members and excluded in unaffected members and 50 normal controls. The apparently high frequency of identical independent mutations among patients with vWD type IIA suggests that a precise diagnosis may be possible in a majority of patients using relatively simple recombinant DNA screening assays.