UC San Diego Health's Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) Clinic was established in 2002 and is the region's only
HHT Center of Excellence.
The designation recognizes our ability to proactively manage the care of individuals with HHT (an inherited condition that affects blood vessels) and provide needed follow-up and coordination of care.
Dr. Thomas Kinney, the clinic's director, our patients have access to an integrated team of medical specialists, knowledgeable about the unique symptoms and treatment options for the disorder.
Learn more about the disorder from the HHT Foundation.
Signs and Symptoms of HHT
An estimated 90 percent of individuals with HHT are undiagnosed. Common signs and symptoms of the disorder include:
- Nosebleeds (epistaxis) -- about 90 percent of individuals with HHT will have recurrent nosebleeds by their 20s
- Cutaneous telangiectasia – red or purple spots on the face or hands
- Shortness of breath
- Exercise intolerance or fatigue
- Migraine headaches
- Abdominal pain
- Leg swelling
- Artery malformations, which may affect pulmonary (lung) or cerebral (brain) circulation
Screening for HHT
The HHT Foundation recommends that all individuals diagnosed or suspected of having HHT undergo a thorough screening and consultation at an HHT Center of Excellence at least once in their life to prevent potentially serious complications. After discussing your health history, we may use the following to diagnose your condition:
- Physical exam
- Blood count
- Chest X-ray
- Contrast echocardiogram (bubble echo study)
- CT scan
- Colonoscopy or upper endoscopy
- Genetic testing
Treatment for HHT
We offer comprehensive treatment options to address all the different parts of the body that the disorder may affect, including:
- Treatment for nosebleeds with over the counter sprays/gels, moisture and humidification, hormone therapy, sclerotherapy and coblation
- Laser treatment of telangiectasias on the skin of the hands, face and mouth
- Endovascular embolization for arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of the lungs or brain
- Radiation and surgical removal of AVMs of the brain
- A range of options for treating gastrointestinal bleeding, including laser photocoagulation, thermal therapy, and intravenous and oral medications
- Intravenous blood vessel inhibitor drugs and adjunct therapeutic management for AVMs of the liver