What are the GI and hepatic symptoms of Osler-Weber-Rendu disease (OWRD) (hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia [HHT])?

Updated: Oct 06, 2020
  • Author: Klaus-Dieter Lessnau, MD, FCCP; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD  more...
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Answer

The risk of GI tract bleeding increases at approximately 50 years of age. Recurrent painless GI bleeding occurs in 10-40% of patients and generally occurs later in life than epistaxis does. Visceral AVMs may be evident. [53] Patients may report abdominal pain, which may be due to thrombosis of GI AVMs.

Liver involvement (often asymptomatic) is reported in as many as 40% of patients. Symptoms may include right-upper-quadrant pain, jaundice, symptoms of high-output cardiac failure, and bleeding from esophageal varices. The complication of cardiac failure is caused by a large left-to-right shunt that can occur between the hepatic arteries and veins. Occasionally, patients with HHT may present with atypical cirrhosis.


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