Intravenous Bevacizumab for Refractory Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia-Related Epistaxis and Gastrointestinal Bleeding.

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: To present a multiyear clinical experience with intravenous bevacizumab for the management of severe gastrointestinal bleeding and/or epistaxis in patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). PATIENTS AND METHODS: All patients treated with intravenous bevacizumab for severe hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia-related bleeding from June 1, 2013, through January 31, 2017, were included in this report. Severity of epistaxis (determined using the Epistaxis Severity Score questionnaire); hemoglobin, iron, and ferritin levels; and quality of life data were collected serially in all patients. RESULTS: Intravenous bevacizumab was administered to 34 patients using a standardized treatment protocol. Anemia was primarily related to severe epistaxis (n=15, 44%), severe gastrointestinal bleeding¬†(n=4, 12%), or both (n=15, 44%), with a median baseline hemoglobin level of 9.1 g/dL (range, 8.3-10.5¬†gm/dL; to convert to mmol/L, multiply by 0.62). Red blood cell (RBC) transfusions had been administered to 28 patients (82%). Of these, 16 patients (47%) were RBC transfusion dependent and had received a median of 75 RBC transfusions (range, 4->500 RBC units) before bevacizumab initiation. The median length of follow-up was 17.6 months from the beginning of bevacizumab treatment (range, 3-42.5 months). There was a significant reduction in epistaxis severity scores (P<.001) and RBC transfusion requirements (P=.007) after completion of the initial bevacizumab treatment cycle. New-onset or worsened hypertension was noted in 4 patients, with 1 patient experiencing hypertensive urgency with a temporary decline in renal function. CONCLUSION: Intravenous bevacizumab is an effective treatment option for patients with severe anemia related to epistaxis and/or gastrointestinal bleeding. Further studies are needed to establish a dose-response relationship as well as clinical, genetic, and biomarker predictors of response.
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  • Administration, Intravenous, Aged, Anemia, Refractory, Angiogenesis Inhibitors, Bevacizumab, Epistaxis, Female, Ferritins, Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Minnesota, Quality of Life, Retrospective Studies, Severity of Illness Index, Telangiectasia, Hereditary Hemorrhagic, Treatment Outcome
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    Author List

  • Iyer VN; Apala DR; Pannu BS; Kotecha A; Brinjikji W; Leise MD; Kamath PS; Misra S; Begna KH; Cartin-Ceba R
  • Start Page

  • 155
  • End Page

  • 166
  • Volume

  • 93
  • Issue

  • 2