Cauterization for epistaxis in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia


Department of Otolaryngology


Department of Radiology, ULB Erasme University Hospital, Brussels, Belgium

B-ENT 2016; 12: 9-16
Read: 727 Downloads: 540 Published: 03 February 2020

Cauterization for epistaxis in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia. Problem/objectives: Epistaxis is the most common manifestation of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT); it is present in >90% of HHT patients >45 years old. Depending on severity, treatment consists of managing bleeding via medical and surgical methods. The aim of our study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of endonasal surgical arterial cauterization to treat chronic epistaxis in patients with HHT who are no longer responding to first-line therapies.

Methodology: Five patients were included in our study. The day before surgery, all patients underwent devascularization embolization of the external carotid arterial branches involved in nasal bleeding. The primary efficacy endpoint of treatment was assessed by the Epistaxis Severity Score (ESS), which was systematically evaluated preoperatively in our department, as well as every 3 months postoperatively. Data were collected retrospectively from the medical records of patients.

Results: Endonasal surgical arterial cauterization was associated with a ≥ 50% reduction in the ESS up to 9 months postoperatively. In one of our patients, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage occurred intraoperatively during cauterization of the posterior ethmoid artery. Closure of the dural skull base defect was successfully performed intraoperatively.

Discussion: Although our results are preliminary and included few patients, they support a role for endonasal surgical arterial cauterization as a second-line treatment method for chronic epistaxis in patients with HHT.

EISSN 2684-4907