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Auris Nasus Larynx. 2007 Mar;34(1):45-8. Epub 2006 Nov 28.

Contact endoscopy of the nose in patients with Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Karl-Hansen Medical Center, Antoniusstr. 19, D-33175 Bad Lippspringe, Germany.



Teleangiectases are the source of hemorrhage in many HHT patients. Most frequent site of bleeding is the nose and more than 90% of all individuals with HHT suffer from recurrent epistaxis. Despite all efforts, treatment of epistaxis in HHT continues to be a problem for many otorhinolaryngologists, who can alleviate recurrent nosebleeds by Septodermoplasty or laser therapy, but rarely can stop nasal hemorrhages permanently. Recurrence is almost inevitable, but the mechanisms of recurrence are not fully understood.


Prior to routine Nd:YAG laser therapy of nasal telangiectases the nasal mucosa of 17 patients with HHT according to the clinical diagnostic criteria of the HHT Foundation International was examined with a 0 degrees contact rhinoscope in areas with clinically visible telangiectases as well as in clinically normal mucosa. The digitally recorded images were compared to findings of a group of five healthy volunteers and the findings of five patients with polypoid sinusitis.


Visualization of subepithelial vessels was feasible in all individuals of the study group as well as the control groups. Dilated vascular loops and tortuous vessels could be found in the study groups as well as in the control group, but the overall density of telangiectatic vessels was on an average higher in the HHT group. The process of vessel dilatation and tortuous configuration seemed to progress with age.


Contact endoscopy allows the investigation of the angioarchitecture of capillaries of the nasal mucosa in vivo. This observation may be of significance for studies of nasal diseases, which are accompanied by epistaxis. With this regard it seems to be of special interest for studies of HHT.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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