Purpose: To evaluate hepatic alterations in patients affected by Hereditary Haemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) by using multidetectorrow helical CT (MDCT) and new reconstruction programs.
Materials and methods: An MDCT multiphasic study of the liver was performed in 105 consecutive patients: 89 considered to be affected by HHT and 16 with suspicion of disease alone. The scan delay was determined by using a test bolus of contrast material. The CT examination was performed with a triphasic technique (double arterial phase and portal venous phase). Multiplanar and angiographic reconstructions were then obtained, and the images checked for the presence of shunts, hepatic perfusion disorders, vascular lesions (telangiectases and large confluent vascular masses), indirect signs of portal hypertension, and anatomical vascular variants.
Results: Hepatic vascular alterations were found in 78/105 cases (67/89 patients affected by HHT and 11/16 patients with clinical suspicion alone). Therefore HHT diagnosis was excluded in 5 patients. 78/100 (78%) patients with HHT had intrahepatic vascular alterations: arterioportal shunts in 40/78 (51.2%), arteriosystemic shunts in 16/78 (20.5%), and both shunt types in 22/78 (28.3%). Intraparenchymal perfusion disorders were found in 46/78 (58.9%) patients. Telangiectases were recognised in 50/78 (64.1%) patients. Large confluent vascular masses (LCVMs) were identified in 20/78 (25.6%) patients. Indirect signs of portal hypertension were found in 46/78 (58.9%) cases. Variant hepatic arterial anatomy was present in 38/100 cases (38%).
Conclusions: Multiphasic MDCT and the new reconstruction programs enable the identification and characterisation of the complex vascular alterations typical of HHT.