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National mutation study among Danish patients with hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia


  • No competing financial interests exist. All authors declare that they do not have any conflict of interest.


Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is an autosomal dominantly inherited vascular disease characterized by the presence of mucocutaneous telangiectasia and visceral arteriovenous malformations (AVM). The clinical diagnosis of HHT is based on the Curaçao criteria. About 85% of HHT patients carry mutations in the ENG, ACVRL1 or SMAD4 genes. Here, we report on the genetic heterogeneity in the Danish national HHT population and address the prevalence of pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (PAVM). Probands of 107 apparently unrelated families received genetic testing, including sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) analyses of ENG, ACVRL1 and SMAD4. These 107 families included 320 patients confirmed to have HHT either clinically or genetically. In 89% of the probands (n = 95), a mutation was identified. We detected 64 unique mutations of which 27 (41%) were novel. Large deletions were identified in ENG and ACVRL1. The prevalence of PAVM was 52.3% in patients with an ENG mutation and 12.9% in the ACVRL1 mutation carriers. We diagnosed 80% of the patients clinically, fulfilling the Curaçao criteria, and those remaining were diagnosed by genetic testing. It is discussed when to assign pathogenicity to missense and splice site mutations. The adding of an extra criterion to the Curaçao criteria is suggested.