What is HHT?

HHT is a genetic disorder, which affects blood vessels. This disorder is worldwide affecting males and females of all races and ethnic groups. Up to 1/3 of HHT patients can have multiple organ involvement, which can be disabling and or life threatening. HHT can be treated successfully if correctly diagnosed.

The disorder is also sometimes referred to as Osler-Weber-Rendu (OWR) after several doctors who studied HHT 50-100 years ago. In 1896 Dr. Rendu first described HHT as a hereditary disorder involving nosebleeds and characteristic red spots that was distinctly different from hemophilia. Before Dr. Rendu's work, doctors did not understand that individuals with what we now call HHT have an abnormalities of their blood vessels, not a clotting problem in the blood itself. Drs. Weber and Osler reported on additional features of HHT in the early 1900s. One hundred years later, HHT is still often misdiagnosed in affected individuals and many doctors do not understand all of its manifestations.