People who have HHT should seek treatment at a medical center with experience treating this disorder. Because the disorder is uncommon, finding a specialist in HHT can be difficult. In the United States, HHT Centers of Excellence, including Mayo Clinic, are designated by the HHT Foundation International for their ability to diagnose and treat all aspects of the disorder.
Although no cure exists, doctors can treat the symptoms of HHT and help avoid serious complications caused by abnormal blood vessels. HHT treatment often depends on which parts of the body are affected.
Telangiectases in the nose can cause bleeding that ranges from minor to severe. Minor nosebleeds may respond to home remedies, such as humidifying the air or using moisturizing nose sprays or drops. Treatments for more-serious nosebleeds include:
Often, telangiectases require little more than medical monitoring. Telangiectases that bleed and discolor the skin are usually treated with laser therapy. The laser beam can selectively destroy the discolored tissue.
Bleeding in the stomach or the intestines is often difficult to treat due to the large number of telangiectases that may occur in the gastrointestinal tract. Telangiectases can be treated with laser, a heater probe, hormonal treatment or a combination of therapies. Anemia caused by blood loss is typically treated with iron supplements or blood transfusions.
AVMs in the lung should be treated before they cause symptoms. To treat lung AVMs, doctors may perform an embolization through a procedure called a pulmonary angiogram. In a pulmonary angiogram, a radiologist will first guide a thin tube (catheter) through a needle insertion in the groin to the AVM. At this point, the radiologist does an embolization by placing a tiny balloon or coil to seal off the AVM and block it from the body's circulation.
Treatment for AVMs in the brain depends on their size, location and how they are formed. Treatments include surgery, embolization, stereotactic radiosurgery and, in some cases, observation.
Because treating vessel malformations in the liver can sometimes lead to serious complications, the decision to treat the liver is evaluated for each person. Options may include liver transplantation in rare cases.