, Volume 269, Issue 2, pp 531-536
Date: 31 Jul 2011

A retrospective analysis of low dose, intranasal injected bevacizumab (Avastin) in hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia

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Abstract

The constantly recurring epistaxis means a great reduction of quality of life for patients with hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). As yet, an ideal treatment has not been found. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been described as a possible new therapy. In particular, the success of submucosal doses <100 mg has not been analysed before. We injected bevacizumab (Avastin) submucosally in addition to Nd:YAG laser therapy. Doses <7.5 mg were used. To investigate the effect of these additional injections in comparison to laser therapy alone, a retrospective analysis was done. For this purpose a standardized patient questionnaire was completed, which included recording the patients’ Epistaxis Severity Score (ESS) before and after the antibody treatment. Besides, patient files were analysed to collect objective data like haemoglobin levels and the number of blood transfusions needed. Data for eleven patients could be analysed. A significant improvement in the ESS resulting from additional bevacizumab therapy was observed (p < 0.01). In particular, the frequency of epistaxis (p = 0.011), duration of epistaxis (p < 0.01), severity of epistaxis (p < 0.01) and the need for acute medical treatment (p = 0.014) decreased significantly. The haemoglobin levels increased significantly (p = 0.011) and the number of blood transfusions declined. There were no side effects caused by the antibody treatment. Additional injections of a low dose of bevacizumab seem to be superior to Nd:YAG laser therapy alone. These results justify further studies.