Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia

Also known as: HHT, Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome, Osler-Weber-Rendu disease.

What is hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia?

Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia is a disease in which some blood vessels develop abnormally into telangiectasia (enlarged small blood vessels in the skin) and/or where some little arteries drain directly into veins (instead of going first into capillaries) called arteriovenous malformations. Both of these can result in the blood vessels bursting and bleeding.

What causes hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia?

HHT is a hereditary disease usually caused by an abnormal gene being passed from one parent to the child. As only one parent needs to be affected to pass the gene on it's called an “ autosomal dominant” gene (each child has a 50% chance of getting the gene).

What are the symptoms of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia?

Abnormal bleeding is the most common symptom of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia. This can include frequent nosebleeds, bleeding in internal organs (intestines, lungs and brain and others) anemia and other risks.

What are hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia care options?

>In mild cases, no treatment may be necessary. All treatment is aimed at decreasing the amount of hemorrhaging. Some forms of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia can be treated with symptom management, hormone therapy or other medications.

In more severe instances, the problematic vessels themselves will need to be addressed through procedures such as laser therapy, surgery, embolization and/or other procedures.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf

This page was last updated on: November 06, 2023 03:35 PM

The International Birthmark Institute

Evaluation and management of all birthmarks with special expertise in vascular birthmarks or vascular anomalies in newborn babies and children.

Learn More