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Predictors of heart failure symptoms in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia patients with hepatic arteriovenous malformations



Hepatic arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) patients are most commonly hepatic artery to hepatic venous shunts which can result in high-output heart failure. This condition can be debilitating and is a leading cause of liver transplantation in HHT patients. However, it is not known what characteristics can discriminate between asymptomatic patients and those who will develop heart failure symptoms.


176 patients with HHT were evaluated with computed tomography angiography (CTA) between April 2004 and February 2019 at our HHT Center of Excellence. 63/176 (35.8%) patients were found to have hepatic AVMs on CTA. 18 of these patients were excluded because of the presence of another condition which could confound evaluation of heart failure symptoms. In the remaining 45 patients included in our cohort, 25/45 (55.6%) patients were classified as asymptomatic and 20/45 (44.4%) were classified as symptomatic, and these groups were compared. In symptomatic patients, mean common hepatic artery (CHA) diameter was significantly higher (11.1 versus 8.4 mm) and mean hemoglobin levels were significantly lower (10.7 vs 12.6 g/dL). A stepwise multiple logistic regression analysis demonstrated that both CHA diameter and hemoglobin level were independent predictors of heart failure symptoms with ORs of 2.554 (95% CI 1.372-4.754) and 0.489 (95% CI 0.299-0.799), respectively. The receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve of our analysis demonstrated an AUC of 0.906 (95% CI 0.816-0.996), sensitivity 80.0% (95% CI 55.7-93.4%), and specificity 75.0% (95% CI 52.9-89.4%).


CTA is an effective and easily reproducible method to evaluate hepatic involvement of HHT. Utilizing CTA, clinical, and laboratory data we determined CHA diameter and hemoglobin level were independent predictors of heart failure symptoms.

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