Pulmonary vascular manifestations of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (rendu-osler disease)

Respiration; International Review of Thoracic Diseases
Vincent CottinJean-François Cordier


Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) or Rendu-Osler-Weber disease is a genetic disorder with autosomal dominance and variable penetrance, characterized by epistaxis, telangiectasia and visceral manifestations of the disease. The estimated minimal prevalence is 1/10,000 inhabitants. The diagnosis is established on clinical criteria, and may be further confirmed by the identification of causative mutations in either the ENG or the ACVRL1 gene coding for endoglin and ALK1, respectively. Pulmonary vascular manifestations of HHT include pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (PAVMs; especially in patients with ENG mutations) and less frequently pulmonary hypertension (especially in patients with ACVRL1 mutations). In 15-33% of patients with HHT, PAVMs consist of abnormal communications between pulmonary arteries and pulmonary veins, causing right-to-left shunting, and thus, frequently hypoxemia and dyspnea on exertion, although PAVMs may remain asymptomatic and frequently undiagnosed unless complications occur. PAVMs result in severe and frequent complications often at a young age, which may reveal the diagnosis, e.g. transient ischemic attack and cerebral stroke (10-19% of patients), systemic severe infections and abscesses (...Continue Reading


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