Objectives: Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is a common inherited condition characterized by mucosal telangiectasias, recurrent epistaxis, and arteriovenous malformations. HHT results in detriment to quality of life. Morbidity and mortality result from severe anemia. Conventional interventions for HHT-related epistaxis include nasal packing, diathermy, lasers, coblation, microdebridement, bevacizumab (topical and systemic), as well as septodermoplasty and nasal closure. Sclerotherapy has been recently described in the literature as a novel approach to HHT-related epistaxis. We hypothesize that sclerotherapy is an effective treatment for HHT-related epistaxis and improves upon the current standard of care for this disease.
Methods: A systematic review was conducted to study sclerotherapy for treating HHT-related epistaxis. Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, Scopus, and Web of Science were searched. Articles were evaluated and excluded according to PRISMA guidelines and reviewed by 2 authors. Reported variables included number of injections, months of follow up, changes in Epistaxis Severity Score, previous treatments used to control epistaxis, and post-injection side effects.
Results: Seven studies with a total of 196 patients met inclusion criteria. Three studies reported significant improvement as measured by the Epistaxis Severity Score scale. One reported improvement through subjective patient surveys and others used the Bergler-Sadick scale to measure frequency and intensity of epistaxis. All studies reported improvement in HHT-related epistaxis. The lack of uniform reporting measures however precluded formal meta-analysis.
Conclusions: Based on limited data, sclerotherapy appears to be effective for treating HHT-related epistaxis and offers promise for treating this recalcitrant condition. However, larger, prospective, multi-centered studies using universally validated instruments for epistaxis are needed to definitively evaluate outcomes from sclerotherapy.
Keywords: HHT; epistaxis; hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia; sclerotherapy; sodium tetradecyl sulfate.