Background: As causal therapy of Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome is not yet possible, there are many different therapeutical approaches. It seemed expedient to investigate the efficacy of super-selective angiography in treating Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome after this technique proved effective in other therapeutic settings. This method is known to be efficient in controlling tumor bleeding.
Patients: Between March 1993 and September 1995, eight patients with an average age of 57 years were treated by super-selective intraarterial embolization.
Results: In all cases epistaxis occurred on both sides. Unilateral embolization was performed in ten cases and bilateral embolization in five cases. In two of three patients with nasal packing the embolization permitted removal of the packing. Nevertheless nosebleeds reoccurred on an average of 3.5 days after therapy. Two of eight patients showed long-term improvement after therapy. They suffered fewer nosebleeds than before. Complications included one patient who suffered from partial hemiparesis after embolization, which lasted 1.5 hours and was completely reversible. Another patient died because of pulmonic bleeding caused by manifestation of the disease in this organ. Often patients complained of facial pain or headache which occasionally lasted for a few weeks.
Conclusions: Endovasal embolization obviously is an alternative to artery ligation in emergency cases whereas the long-term success is currently impaired by formation of new anastomoses. Further development of this technique is necessary.