Objective: In patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (PAVMs) can cause serious neurological complications. Our aim was to evaluate the potential of contrast-enhanced Doppler ultrasound (CE-US) of the common carotid artery as a screening test for detection of PAVMs. Methods: A total of 124 consecutive patients with HHT or a positive family history underwent screening for PAVMs with CE-US and thoracic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (CE-MRA). CE-US was performed after receiving (D)-galactose microparticulate, and CE-MRA with gadobenate dimeglumine. Twenty-five patients with confirmed PAVMs were referred to conventional pulmonary catheter angiography (PA). Findings on CE-US and CE-MRA were evaluated using contingency tables and McNemar’s test. Results: Using CE-MRA as the reference test, CE-US had a sensitivity of 100%, a specificity of 87%, and a negative predictive value of 100%. In 25 patients who underwent PA, PAVMs that had been diagnosed on CE-US and CE-MRA were confirmed. Of the PAVMs detected by CE-MRA, 24% were not identified on PA. Conclusion: CE-US is a simple, minimally invasive screening method that can easily be performed in different settings. CE-US can predict PAVMs with high probability of success. CE-US may be a simple alternative to transthoracic echocardiography in the assessment of PAVMs in certain HHT-patients.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.