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Transplant Proc. 2007 Jul-Aug;39(6):2045-7.

The role of liver transplantation in the treatment of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia: a short literature review.

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  • 1School of Medicine, Tor Vergata University of Rome, Rome, Italy.


The liver is involved in up to 73% of patients suffering from hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), but only some of them become symptomatic. Although management is often conservative, sometimes a more aggressive approach is required. The role of surgery is still undefined. Open ligation, banding, or closure of the arteriovenous malformation feeding artery have been proposed but rejected, as they are followed by an unacceptably high incidence of complications, derived from ischemia of the biliary tree. Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) has been successfully attempted in 28 patients with cardiac, biliary, or portal hypertension as well as mixed clinical presentations. Twenty-four were alive at time of data collection. Cardiovascular and pulmonary functions have improved after the operation in most cases. Intrahepatic relapse of the hallmark lesion of the disease (telangiectasia and arterovenous malformation) has been recently described in two cases. OLT represents a valuable therapeutic option for hepatic-based HHT, provided early diagnosis and referral to a specialized unit.

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