Diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary arteriovenous malformations in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia: An overview

P Lacombe, A Lacout, P-Y Marcy, S Binsse, J Sellier, M Bensalah, T Chinet, I Bourgault-Villada, S Blivet, J Roume, G Lesur, J-H Blondel, C Fagnou, A Ozanne, S Chagnon, M El Hajjam
Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging 2013, 94 (9): 835-48
Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) or Rendu-Osler-Weber disease is an autosomic dominant disorder, which is characterized by the development of multiple arteriovenous malformations in either the skin, mucous membranes, and/or visceral organs. Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (PAVMs) may either rupture, and lead to life-threatening hemoptysis/hemothorax or be responsible for a right-to-left shunting leading to paradoxical embolism, causing stroke or cerebral abscess. PAVMs patients should systematically be screened as the spontaneous complication rate is high, by reaching almost 50%. Neurological complications rate is considerably higher in patients presenting with diffuse pulmonary involvement. PAVM diagnosis is mainly based upon transthoracic contrast echocardiography and CT scanner examination. The latter also allows the planification of treatments to adopt, which consists of percutaneous embolization, having replaced surgery in most of the cases. The anchor technique consists of percutaneous coil embolization of the afferent pulmonary arteries of the PAVM, by firstly placing a coil into a small afferent arterial branch closely upstream the PAVM. Enhanced contrast CT scanner is the key follow-up examination that depicts the PAVM enlargement, indicating the various mechanisms of PAVM reperfusion. When performed by experienced operators as the prime treatment, percutaneous embolization of PAVMs, is a safe, efficient and sustained therapy in the great majority of HHT patients.

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