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Treatment of hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia by the pulsed dye laser.

Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome, Osler's disease) is an inherited abnormality of the vasculature characterized by abnormal subepithelial vessels. Treatment has included repeated intranasal cautery, intra-arterial embolization and arterial ligation. Historically, the operation of septodermoplasty and the use of systemic/topical oestrogens have been the most effective and lasting treatments, but over time the telangiectasias recur. There is increasing interest in the use of a variety of lasers for intranasal photocoagulation. A report of nine patients suffering from hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia who have undergone laser treatment with the Chromos pulsed dye laser is presented. This laser produces light energy at a wavelength of 585 nm and causes localized thermal damage to the blood vessel wall. Initially, no patient saw an improvement in their symptoms, but following an average of approximately three courses of treatment, all have reported a measurable reduction in the number of epistaxes suffered. Although no treatment completely resolves the epistaxis associated with this condition, we have found the pulsed dye laser to be effective at treating telangiectasias within the anterior nasal cavity.

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