Ask The Doctor

ask the doc

Q: What are common symptoms of pulmonary AVMs and how can they lead to a misdiagnosis?

Dr. James Gossage, Cure HHT Medical Director: Pulmonary AVMs (PAVM) are the most common serious problem in patients with HHT and are seen in 30% to 40% of patients. Common symptoms of PAVM include shortness of breath, low oxygen levels when checked by finger oximetry and hemoptysis (coughing up blood)...Read More

Q: How does alcohol affect the blood, and what can the results be for an HHT patient?

Dr. Justin McWilliams, Co-Director of UCLA HHT Center: Alcohol has several effects on the blood which are relevant to HHT patients. First, alcohol acts to inhibit platelet aggregation, meaning the platelets that make your blood clot become less sticky, making your blood thinner.... Read More

Q: Why should a family member of an HHT patient be screened even if no symptoms have appeared?

Dr. Jeffrey Pollak, Medical Director of Yale University HHT Center: People with a family history of HHT, even those without symptoms, are potentially at-risk for having the condition and associated internal AVMs. Anyone with a parent, sibling or child with HHT is considered at-risk...Read More

Q: What are the instances when it is permissible for an HHT patient to take a blood thinner?

Dr. Mark Chesnutt, Director of Oregon Health and Science University HHT Center: Many decisions in both life and medicine require that one balances the potential benefits and risks of an action, an intervention or a medication. This is true when one considers the use of blood thinners, especially for a person with HHT... Read More

Q: What are the risks and precautions an HHT patient should be aware of when getting a tattoo?

Dr. Brian Graham, Co-Director of University of Colorado HHT Center: I have come to the consensus that it should generally be safe. I'd recommend you not have a tattoo applied to a visible telangiectasia, as that may bleed quite a bit....Read More

Q: Can kids with HHT play sports? What are your recommendations?

Dr. Felix Ratjen, Toronto Pediatric HHT Center: Regular exercise is important for everybody, and this certainly includes children who have HHT. Most children with HHT can participate in sports at all levels including competitive sports, but there are a few exceptions...Read More

Q: Can excessive treatment for nosebleeds permanently harm my nose?

Dr. Jason Hamilton, Director of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Osborne Head and Neck Institute: It's possible to develop a septal perforation, which occurs when cartilage separating the two nostrils (known as the septum) develops a hole or fissure...Read More