Diagnostic criteria for hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome)

Am J Med Genet. 2000 Mar 6;91(1):66-7. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-8628(20000306)91:1<66::aid-ajmg12>3.0.co;2-p.


Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) is easily recognized in individuals displaying the classical triad of epistaxis, telangiectasia, and a suitable family history, but the disease is more difficult to diagnosis in many patients. Serious consequences may result if visceral arteriovenous malformations, particularly in the pulmonary circulation, are unrecognized and left untreated. In spite of the identification of two of the disease-causing genes (endoglin and ALK-1), only a clinical diagnosis of HHT can be provided for the majority of individuals. On behalf of the Scientific Advisory Board of the HHT Foundation International, Inc., we present consensus clinical diagnostic criteria. The four criteria (epistaxes, telangiectasia, visceral lesions and an appropriate family history) are carefully delineated. The HHT diagnosis is definite if three criteria are present. A diagnosis of HHT cannot be established in patients with only two criteria, but should be recorded as possible or suspected to maintain a high index of clinical suspicion. If fewer than two criteria are present, HHT is unlikely, although children of affected individuals should be considered at risk in view of age-related penetration in this disorder. These criteria may be refined as molecular diagnostic tests become available in the next few years.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Telangiectasia, Hereditary Hemorrhagic / diagnosis*