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J Thromb Haemost. 2010 Jul;8(7):1447-56. doi: 10.1111/j.1538-7836.2010.03860.x. Epub 2010 Mar 19.

Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia: from molecular biology to patient care.

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Service de Génétique et Centre de Référence National Maladies Rares, maladie de Rendu-Osler, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Hôpital de l'Hôtel Dieu, Lyon, France.


Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is an autosomal dominant vascular disorder characterized by severe and recurrent nosebleeds, mucocutaneous telangiectases, and, in some cases, life-threatening visceral arteriovenous malformations of various types, including pulmonary, hepatic, cerebral, and spinal. Gastrointestinal telangiectases are frequent and may cause severe bleeding. HHT type 1 results from mutations in ENG on chromosome 9 (coding for endoglin), and HHT type 2 results from mutations in ACVRL1 on chromosome 12 (coding for activin receptor-like kinase 1). Mutations of either of these two genes account for most clinical cases. In addition, mutations in MADH4 (encoding SMAD4), which cause a juvenile polyposis/HHT overlap syndrome, have been described, and recently, an HHT3 locus on chromosome 5 (5q31.3-5q32) has been reported. The mutated genes in HHT encode proteins that modulate transforming growth factor-beta superfamily signaling in vascular endothelial cells. Management of patients has changed considerably in the last 20 years, in terms of both treatment and the prevention of complications. The goal of this review was to describe the underlying molecular and cellular physiopathology, explore clinical and genetic diagnostic strategies for HHT, and present clinical management recommendations in order to treat symptomatic disease and to screen for vascular malformations.

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