Long-term outcome of patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia and severe hepatic involvement after orthotopic liver transplantation: a single-center study

Liver Transpl. 2010 Mar;16(3):340-7. doi: 10.1002/lt.21990.


Hepatic involvement occurs in up to 74% of patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) and is characterized by a spectrum of arteriovenous malformations. Three different types of intrahepatic shunting may be present: hepatic artery to hepatic veins, hepatic artery to portal vein, and portal vein to hepatic vein. Hepatic involvement in HHT may lead to biliary ischemia, portal hypertension, or high-output cardiac failure (HOCF). Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) has been proposed as the only definitive curative treatment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term outcome of patients with hepatic involvement due to HHT after OLT with respect to mortality, cardiac and hepatic status, epistaxis, and quality of life. Patients with HHT and severe hepatic vascular malformations who underwent OLT in the Lyon Liver Transplant Unit (LLTU) from 1993 to 2007 were followed at the LLTU and the French Reference Center for HHT. Quality of life was evaluated with the Short Form 36 questionnaire. There were 13 patients who fulfilled the entry criteria of the study (12 women and 1 man). The mean age at the time of OLT was 51.8 years (range = 33-65 years). Indications for OLT were cardiac failure (n = 9), biliary necrosis (n = 2), both cardiac failure and biliary necrosis (n = 1), and hemobilia (n = 1). The mean duration of follow-up was 109 months (range = 1-200 months). Twelve patients (92.3%) are still alive. For the 9 patients with HOCF, the mean cardiac index decreased from 5.4 L/minute/m(2) before OLT to 3.0 L/minute/m(2) after OLT. No severe hepatic complications were observed after OLT. Nine of the surviving patients (75%) experienced dramatic improvements in epistaxis and quality of life, including an ability to undertake more physical activity. In conclusion, OLT is an important therapeutic option for patients with HHT who have severe hepatic involvement. In the reported cohort, the mortality after OLT for this indication was low.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arteriovenous Malformations / mortality
  • Arteriovenous Malformations / physiopathology
  • Arteriovenous Malformations / surgery*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Liver / blood supply*
  • Liver / surgery
  • Liver Circulation / physiology
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Telangiectasia, Hereditary Hemorrhagic / mortality
  • Telangiectasia, Hereditary Hemorrhagic / physiopathology
  • Telangiectasia, Hereditary Hemorrhagic / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome