Study purpose: To formulate recommendations about clinical management of liver involvement in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), using a formal consensus development process.
Consensus process: A nominal group technique was used. A list of main clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic issues about liver involvement in HHT was generated by the organizing committee. Panel members then scored their agreement with each statement; the median score, and standard deviation for each statement were determined for each of the three successive panel rounds. These consensus statements formed the basis for recommendations graded with the strength and quality of supporting evidence.
Recommendation statements: Doppler US is sufficiently accurate and suitable for first-line imaging of the liver in the general HHT population. Liver biopsy in any patient with proven or suspected HHT should be avoided. Liver involvement in HHT is generally asymptomatic; in the minority of patients where it is symptomatic, morbidity and mortality can be substantial. The prevalence of focal nodular hyperplasia is much higher in patients with liver involvement by HHT than in the general population. Invasive therapies for liver involvement by HHT (namely liver transplantation) should be considered only in patients who have failed to respond to intensive medical therapy.