Neurovascular manifestations in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia: imaging features and genotype-phenotype correlations

AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2015 May;36(5):863-70. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A4210. Epub 2015 Jan 8.


Background and purpose: Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia is an autosomal dominant disease that presents in 10%-20% of patients with various brain vascular malformations. We aimed to report the radiologic features (phenotype) and the genotype-phenotype correlations of brain vascular malformations in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.

Materials and methods: Demographic, clinical, genotypic, and imaging information of 75 patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia with brain arteriovenous malformations enrolled in the Brain Vascular Malformation Consortium from 2010 to 2012 were reviewed.

Results: Nonshunting, small, superficially located conglomerates of enhancing vessels without enlarged feeding arteries or draining veins called "capillary vascular malformations" were the most commonly observed lesion (46 of 75 patients; 61%), followed by shunting "nidus-type" brain AVMs that were typically located superficially with a low Spetzler-Martin Grade and a small size (32 of 75 patients; 43%). Direct high-flow fistulous arteriovenous shunts were present in 9 patients (12%). Other types of vascular malformations (dural AVF and developmental venous anomalies) were present in 1 patient each. Multiplicity of vascular malformations was seen in 33 cases (44%). No statistically significant correlation was observed between hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia gene mutation and lesion type or lesion multiplicity.

Conclusions: Depending on their imaging features, brain vascular malformations in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia can be subdivided into brain AVF, nidus-type AVM, and capillary vascular malformations, with the latter being the most common phenotype in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia. No genotype-phenotype correlation was observed among patients with this condition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intracranial Arteriovenous Malformations / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Telangiectasia, Hereditary Hemorrhagic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Telangiectasia, Hereditary Hemorrhagic / genetics*