Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, and brain abscess

Mauro Gallitelli, Edoardo Guastamacchia, Francesco Resta, Ginevra Guanti, Carlo Sabbà
Respiration; International Review of Thoracic Diseases 2006, 73 (4): 553-7
Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is a systemic angiodysplasia inherited as an autosomal dominant disease. Patients with HHT and pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (PAVMs) are at increased risk for brain abscess (BA), a potentially preventable condition as effective treatment for PAVMs is available. In a center dedicated to HHT, a history of BA was found in 6 out of 128 patients with a definite diagnosis: herewith, their histories are reported focusing on mistakes in the diagnosis and management of the disease. Patients with PAVMs and BA had a higher mean hemoglobin concentration (15.1 g/dl vs. 12.2 g/dl, p < 0.006 by Student's t test) compared to patients with PAVMs alone. Other clinical features (genetics, bacteriology, types of PAVMs, treatments, outcomes) are also discussed. Prompt diagnosis and screening for visceral involvement is pivotal for HHT patients and their relatives.

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