Thalidomide for Epistaxis in Patients with Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia: A Preliminary Study

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Abstract

To evaluate the effectiveness of thalidomide for epistaxis in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), 7 HHT patients with recurrent epistaxis were treated with thalidomide at an initial dose of 50 mg/d, gradually increasing to 100 mg/d if needed. The Epistaxis Severity Score (ESS) was used to evaluate the treatment effects. Patients reported that epistaxis improved 1 to 3 weeks after starting thalidomide. The mean ESS before treatment, at the end of treatment, and 3 months after stopping treatment was 5.03 ± 2.05, 0.90 ± 0.84 (P = .003), and 1.98 ± 1.33 (P = .006), respectively. Four patients reported mild to moderate side effects, including drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, nausea, and peripheral neuropathy. Two patients stopped the treatment because of adverse effects. Those results showed that thalidomide may be a treatment choice for recurrent epistaxis in HHT patients, although the side effects should be considered. Further study should focus on guidelines for dosing and course and investigate how to reduce the adverse effects.

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