Aneamia in HHT patients
In the Netherlands anaemia occurs in 69% of HHT patients. It is most commonly the result of the nosebleeds, but may also be caused by blood loss in the stomach and bowels. The blood loss causes an iron deficiency, which can be treated with oral iron supplements or iron infusions. The iron deficiency has to be proven, because there are also other causes of anaemia, such as vitamin deficiency.
Sometimes the severity of the anaemia is disproportionate to the severity of the nose bleeds. A search for other causes, such as severe menstrual bleeding or chronic blood loss in the digestive tract, is required. Any vascular lesions in the gastrointestinal tract can be proven by endoscopy or video capsule because patients with HHT are just as susceptible to ulcers, polyps or cancers as people without HHT.