Antithrombotic Therapy in Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia: Real-World Data from the Gemelli Hospital HHT Registry

J Clin Med. 2020 Jun 2;9(6):1699. doi: 10.3390/jcm9061699.


Although Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) is characterized by an overwhelming bleeding propensity, patients with this disease may also present medical conditions that require antithrombotic therapy (AT). However, precise information on indications, dosage, duration, effectiveness, and safety of AT in HHT patients is lacking. We performed a retrospective analysis of the HHT Registry of our University Hospital and found 26 patients who received AT for a total of 30 courses (19 courses of anticoagulant therapy and 11 courses of antiplatelet therapy). Indications to treatments included: atrial fibrillation, venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, heart valve replacement, retinal artery occlusion, secondary prevention after either stroke or myocardial infarction, and thromboprophylaxis for surgery. The total time of exposure to antiplatelet therapy was 385 months and to anticoagulant therapy 169 months. AT was generally well tolerated, with no fatal bleedings and no significant changes in hemoglobin levels. However, we found three major bleedings, with an incidence rate of 6.5 per 100 patients per year. When only patients treated with anticoagulants were considered, the incidence rate of major bleedings increased to 21.6 per 100 patients per year. Our study indicates that major bleeding may occur in HHT patients receiving AT, with a substantially increased rate in those treated with anticoagulants. Further studies are needed to fully estimate the tolerability of antithrombotic drugs in HHT.

Keywords: Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia; anticoagulants; antiplatelets; antithrombotic therapy; bleeding; safety.