114 results found
Shovlin CL, Buscarini E, Sabbà C, et al., 2021, The European rare disease network for HHT frameworks for management of hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia in general and speciality care., Eur J Med Genet
Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is a complex, multisystemic vascular dysplasia affecting approximately 85,000 European Citizens. In 2016, eight founding centres operating within 6 countries, set up a working group dedicated to HHT within what became the European Reference Network on Rare Multisystemic Vascular Diseases. By launch, combined experience exceeded 10,000 HHT patients, and Chairs representing 7 separate specialties provided a median of 24 years' experience in HHT. Integrated were expert patients who focused discussions on the patient experience. Following a 2016-2017 survey to capture priorities, and underpinned by more than 40 monthly meetings, and new data acquisitions, VASCERN HHT generated position statements that distinguish expert HHT care from non-expert HHT practice. Leadership was by specialists in the relevant sub-discipline(s), and 100% consensus was required amongst all clinicians before statements were published or disseminated. One major set of outputs targeted all healthcare professionals and their HHT patients, and include the new Orphanet definition; Do's and Don'ts for common situations; Outcome Measures suitable for all consultations; COVID-19; and anticoagulation. The second output set span aspects of vascular pathophysiology where greater understanding will assist organ-specific specialist clinicians to provide more informed care to HHT patients. These cover cerebral vascular malformations and screening; mucocutaneous telangiectasia and differential diagnosis; anti-angiogenic therapies; circulatory interplays between anaemia and arteriovenous malformations; and microbiological strategies to counteract loss of normal pulmonary capillary function. Overall, the integrated outputs, and documented current practices, provide frameworks for approaches that augment the health and safety of HHT patients in diverse health-care settings.
Davieson CD, Joyce KE, Sharma L, et al., 2021, DNA variant classification–reconsidering “allele rarity” and “phenotype” criteria in ACMG/AMP guidelines, European Journal of Medical Genetics, Vol: 64, Pages: 1-5, ISSN: 1769-7212
Recent guidance suggested modified DNA variant pathogenicity assignments based on genome-wide allele rarity. Different a priori probabilities of pathogenicity operate where patients already have clinical diagnoses, and are found to have a very rare variant in a gene known to cause their disease, compared to predictive testing of a clinically unaffected individual. We tested new recommendations from the ClinGen Sequence Variant Interpretation Working Group for ClinVar-listed, loss-of-function variants meeting the very strong evidence of pathogenicity criterion [PVS1] in genes for 3 specific diseases where causal gene identification can modify clinical care of an individual- Von Willebrand disease, cystic fibrosis and hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia. Across these diseases, current rules leave 20/1278 (1.6%) of loss-of-function variants as variants of uncertain significance (VUS that may not be reported to clinicians), and 207/1278 (17.2%) as likely pathogenic. Applying the new ClinGen rule enabling PM2 and PVS1 to delineate likely pathogenicity still left 8/1278 (0.9%) as VUS (reflecting non-PVS1 calls by the submitters), and the majority of null alleles meeting PVS1 as merely likely pathogenic. We favour an approach whereby, for PVS1 variants in patients who personally meet PP4 in a disease where casual variants are commonly family-specific, the PM2 allele rarity criterion is upgraded to permit a pathogenic call. Of 1278 ClinVar-listed frameshift, nonsense and canonical splice site variants that met PVS1 in the 3 conditions, 16.0% (204/1278) would be newly designated as pathogenic, avoiding misinterpretation outside of clinical genetics communities. We suggest further discussion around variant assessment across different clinical applications, potentially guided by PP4 alerts to distinguish personal versus family phenotypic history.
Joyce KE, Onabanjo E, Brownlow S, et al., 2021, High definition analyses of single cohort, whole genome sequencing data provides a direct route to defining sub-phenotypes and personalising medicine, medrxiv
<jats:title>ABSTRACT</jats:title><jats:p>Possession of a clinical or molecular disease label alters the context in which life-course events operate, but rarely explains the phenotypic variability observed by clinicians. Whole genome sequencing of unselected endothelial vasculopathy patients demonstrated more than a third had rare, likely deleterious variants in clinically-relevant genes unrelated to their vasculopathy (1 in 10 within platelet genes; 1 in 8 within coagulation genes; and 1 in 4 within erythrocyte hemolytic genes). High erythrocyte membrane variant rates paralleled genomic damage and prevalence indices in the general population. In blinded analyses, patients with greater hemorrhagic severity that had been attributed solely to their vasculopathy had more deleterious variants in platelet (Spearman ρ=0.25, p=0.008) and coagulation (Spearman ρ=0.21, p=0.024) genes. We conclude that rare diseases can provide insights for medicine beyond their primary pathophysiology, and propose a framework based on rare variants to inform interpretative approaches to accelerate clinical impact from whole genome sequencing.</jats:p>
Alsafi A, Shovlin CL, Jackson JE, 2021, Transpleural systemic artery-pulmonary artery communications in the absence of chronic inflammatory lung disease. A case series and review of the literature, Clinical Radiology, Vol: 76, Pages: 711.e9-711.e15, ISSN: 0009-9260
AIM: To describe the causes and computed tomography (CT) and angiographic appearances of transpleural systemic artery-pulmonary artery shunts in patients without chronic inflammatory lung disease and determine their best management. MATERIALS AND METHODS: All patients referred to a tertiary referral unit between January 2013 and January 2020 in whom a diagnosis of a systemic-pulmonary artery communication without underlying chronic inflammatory lung disease was subsequently made have been included in this report. Medical records and imaging findings were reviewed retrospectively. RESULTS: Ten patients (male: female ratio = 7:3; median age 42 years [range 22-70 years]) with systemic artery-pulmonary artery shunts without chronic inflammatory lung disease were identified. Five were misdiagnosed as having a pulmonary arteriovenous malformation and had been referred for embolisation. In six patients, there was either a history of accidental or iatrogenic thoracic trauma or of inflammatory disease involving the pleura, and in two patients, in whom a previous medical history could not be obtained, there were CT features suggesting previous pleural inflammatory disease. Two shunts were thought to be congenital. All individuals were asymptomatic other than one with localised thoracic discomfort that dated from the time of surgery. All patients were managed conservatively and have remained well with a median follow-up of 4.5 years (range 1-11.3 years). CONCLUSIONS: Localised transpleural systemic artery-pulmonary artery shunts in the absence of chronic inflammatory lung disease are usually related to previous thoracic trauma/intervention or abdominal or pulmonary sepsis involving a pleural or diaphragmatic surface. Congenital shunts are rare. The present study and much of the literature supports conservative management.
Topiwala KK, Patel SD, Pervez M, et al., 2021, Ischemic stroke in patients with pulmonary arteriovenous fistulas, Stroke, Vol: 52, Pages: E311-E315, ISSN: 0039-2499
Background and Purpose:Pulmonary arteriovenous fistulas (PAVFs) are a treatable cause of acute ischemic stroke (AIS), not mentioned in current American Heart/Stroke Association guidelines. PAVFs are recognized as an important complication of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.Methods:The prevalence of PAVF and hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia among patients admitted with AIS in the United States (2005–2014) was retrospectively studied, utilizing the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database. Clinical factors, morbidity, mortality, and management were compared in AIS patients with and without PAVF/hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.Results:Of 4 271 910 patients admitted with AIS, 822 (0.02%) were diagnosed with PAVF. Among them, 106 of 822 (12.9%) were diagnosed with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia. The prevalence of PAVF per million AIS admissions rose from 197 in 2005 to 368 in 2014 (Ptrend, 0.026). Patients with PAVF were younger than AIS patients without PAVF (median age, 57.5 versus 72.5 years), had lower age-adjusted inpatient morbidity (defined as any discharge other than home; 39.6% versus 46.9%), and had lower in-hospital case fatality rates (1.8% versus 5.1%). Multivariate analyses identified the following as independent risk markers (odds ratio [95% CI]) for AIS in patients with PAVF: hypoxemia (8.4 [6.3–11.2]), pulmonary hemorrhage (7.9 [4.1–15.1]), pulmonary hypertension (4.3 [4.1–15.1]), patent foramen ovale (4.2 [3.5–5.1]), epistaxis (3.7 [2.1–6.8]), venous thrombosis (2.6 [1.9–3.6]), and iron deficiency anemia (2 [1.5–2.7]). Patients with and without PAVF received intravenous thrombolytics at a similar rate (5.9% versus 5.8%), but those with PAVF did not receive mechanical thrombectomy (0% versus 0.7%).Conclusions:Pulmonary arteriovenous fistula–related ischemic stroke represents an important younger demographic with a unique set of stroke risk markers, including treatable
Clarke J, Alikian M, Xiao S, et al., 2020, Low grade mosaicism in hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia identified by bidirectional whole genome sequencing reads through the 100,000 Genomes Project clinical diagnostic pipeline, Journal of Medical Genetics, Vol: 57, Pages: 859-862, ISSN: 0022-2593
For rare inherited diseases an important question is what type of clinical diagnostic test to select, for instance Sanger-based single genesequencing; a high read depth gene panel; whole exomesequencingor whole genome sequencing. There is emerging recognitionthat a transmissible parental variant present at less than expected heterozygous frequency (due to mosaicism) may escape detection by certain methods. This risk has been proposed as a factor infavourof higher depth sequencingstrategies. Here we report a case where barely 30-fold depth whole genome sequencing through the 100,000 Genomes Project identified low grade mosaicismthat had been missed by conventional Sanger sequencing.
Shovlin C, Simeoni I, Downes K, et al., 2020, Mutational and phenotypic characterisation of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, Blood, Vol: 136, Pages: 1907-1918, ISSN: 0006-4971
Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is an autosomal dominant vascular dysplasia. Care delivery for HHT patients is impeded by the need for laborious, repeated phenotyping and gaps in knowledge regarding the relationships between causal DNA variants in ENG, ACVRL1, SMAD4 and GDF2, and clinical manifestations. To address this, we analyzed DNA samples from 183 previously uncharacterized, unrelated HHT and suspected HHT cases using the ThromboGenomics high-throughput sequencing platform. We identified 127 rare variants across 168 heterozygous genotypes. Applying modified American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics Guidelines, 106 variants were classified as pathogenic/likely pathogenic and 21 as nonpathogenic (variant of uncertain significance/benign). Unlike the protein products of ACVRL1 and SMAD4, the extracellular ENG amino acids are not strongly conserved. Our inferences of the functional consequences of causal variants in ENG were therefore informed by the crystal structure of endoglin. We then compared the accuracy of predictions of the causal gene blinded to the genetic data using 2 approaches: subjective clinical predictions and statistical predictions based on 8 Human Phenotype Ontology terms. Both approaches had some predictive power, but they were insufficiently accurate to be used clinically, without genetic testing. The distributions of red cell indices differed by causal gene but not sufficiently for clinical use in isolation from genetic data. We conclude that parallel sequencing of the 4 known HHT genes, multidisciplinary team review of variant calls in the context of detailed clinical information, and statistical and structural modeling improve the prognostication and treatment of HHT.
Vizcaychipi M, Shovlin C, McCarthy A, et al., 2020, Development and implementation of a COVID-19 near real time traffic light system in an acute hospital setting, Emergency Medicine Journal, Vol: 37, Pages: 630-636, ISSN: 1472-0205
Common causes of death in COVID-19 due to SARS-CoV-2 include thromboembolic disease, cytokine storm and adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Our aim was to develop a system for early detection of disease pattern in the emergency department (ED) that would enhance opportunities for personalised accelerated care to prevent disease progression. A single Trust’s COVID-19 response control command was established, and a reporting team with bioinformaticians was deployed to develop a real-time traffic light system to support clinical and operational teams. An attempt was made to identify predictive elements for thromboembolism, cytokine storm and ARDS based on physiological measurements and blood tests, and to communicate to clinicians managing the patient, initially via single consultants. The input variables were age, sex, and first recorded blood pressure, respiratory rate, temperature, heart rate, indices of oxygenation and C-reactive protein. Early admissions were used to refine the predictors used in the traffic lights. Of 923 consecutive patients who tested COVID-19 positive, 592 (64%) flagged at risk for thromboembolism, 241/923 (26%) for cytokine storm and 361/923 (39%) for ARDS. Thromboembolism and cytokine storm flags were met in the ED for 342 (37.1%) patients. Of the 318 (34.5%) patients receiving thromboembolism flags, 49 (5.3% of all patients) were for suspected thromboembolism, 103 (11.1%) were high-risk and 166 (18.0%) were medium-risk. Of the 89 (9.6%) who received a cytokine storm flag from the ED, 18 (2.0% of all patients) were for suspected cytokine storm, 13 (1.4%) were high-risk and 58 (6.3%) were medium-risk. Males were more likely to receive a specific traffic light flag. In conclusion, ED predictors were used to identify high proportions of COVID-19 admissions at risk of clinical deterioration due to severity of disease, enabling accelerated care targeted to those more likely to benefit. Larger prospective studies are encouraged.
Faughnan ME, Mager JJ, Hetts SW, et al., 2020, Second international guidelines for the diagnosis and management of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia., Annals of Internal Medicine, Pages: 1-16, ISSN: 0003-4819
DESCRIPTION: Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is an autosomal dominant disease with an estimated prevalence of 1 in 5000 that is characterized by the presence of vascular malformations (VMs). These result in chronic bleeding, acute hemorrhage, and complications from shunting through VMs. The goal of the Second International HHT Guidelines process was to develop evidence-based consensus guidelines for the management and prevention of HHT-related symptoms and complications. METHODS: The guidelines were developed using the AGREE II (Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II) framework and GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) methodology. The guidelines expert panel included expert physicians (clinical and genetic) in HHT from 15 countries, guidelines methodologists, health care workers, health care administrators, patient advocacy representatives, and persons with HHT. During the preconference process, the expert panel generated clinically relevant questions in 6 priority topic areas. A systematic literature search was done in June 2019, and articles meeting a priori criteria were included to generate evidence tables, which were used as the basis for recommendation development. The expert panel subsequently convened during a guidelines conference to conduct a structured consensus process, during which recommendations reaching at least 80% consensus were discussed and approved. RECOMMENDATIONS: The expert panel generated and approved 6 new recommendations for each of the following 6 priority topic areas: epistaxis, gastrointestinal bleeding, anemia and iron deficiency, liver VMs, pediatric care, and pregnancy and delivery (36 total). The recommendations highlight new evidence in existing topics from the first International HHT Guidelines and provide guidance in 3 new areas: anemia, pediatrics, and pregnancy and delivery. These recommendations should facilitate implementation of key components of HHT care into
Vizcaychipi MP, Shovlin CL, McCarthy A, et al., 2020, Increase in COVID-19 inpatient survival following detection of Thromboembolic and Cytokine storm risk from the point of admission to hospital by a near real time Traffic-light System (TraCe-Tic), The Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol: 24, Pages: 412-421, ISSN: 1413-8670
IntroductionOur goal was to evaluate if traffic-light driven personalized care for COVID-19 was associated with improved survival in acute hospital settings.MethodsDischarge outcomes were evaluated before and after prospective implementation of a real-time dashboard with feedback to ward-based clinicians. Thromboembolic categories were “medium-risk” (D-dimer >1000 ng/mL or CRP >200 mg/L); “high-risk” (D-dimer >3000 ng/mL or CRP >250 mg/L) or “suspected” (D-dimer >5000 ng/mL). Cytokine storm risk was categorized by ferritin.Results939/1039 COVID-19 positive patients (median age 69 years, 563/939 (60%) male) completed hospital encounters to death or discharge by 21st May 2020. Thromboembolic flag criteria were reached by 568/939 (60.4%), including 238/275 (86.6%) of the patients who died, and 330/664 (49.7%) of the patients who survived to discharge, p < 0.0001. Cytokine storm flag criteria were reached by 212 (22.5%) of admissions, including 80/275 (29.0%) of the patients who died, and 132/664 (19.9%) of the patients who survived, p < 0.0001. The maximum thromboembolic flag discriminated completed encounter mortality (no flag: 37/371 [9.97%] died; medium-risk: 68/239 [28.5%]; high-risk: 105/205 [51.2%]; and suspected thromboembolism: 65/124 [52.4%], p < 0.0001). Flag criteria were reached by 535 consecutive COVID-19 positive patients whose hospital encounter completed before traffic-light introduction: 173/535 (32.3% [95% confidence intervals 28.0, 36.0]) died. For the 200 consecutive admissions after implementation of real-time traffic light flags, 46/200 (23.0% [95% confidence intervals 17.1–28.9]) died, p = 0.013. Adjusted for age and sex, the probability of death was 0.33 (95% confidence intervals 0.30–0.37) before traffic light implementation, 0.22 (0.17–0.27) after implementation, p < 0.001. In subgroup analyses, older patients, males, and patients with hypertension (p ≤ 0.01)
Shovlin CL, Vizcaychipi MP, 2020, Vascular inflammation and endothelial injury in SARS-CoV-2 infection: the overlooked regulatory cascades implicated by the ACE2 gene cluster, QJM: an international journal of medicine, ISSN: 1460-2393
COVID-19 has presented physicians with an unprecedented number of challenges and mortality. The basic question is why, in contrast to other "respiratory" viruses, SARS-CoV-2 infection can result in such multi-systemic, life-threatening complications and a severe pulmonary vasculopathy. It is widely known that SARS-CoV-2 uses membrane-bound angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a receptor, resulting in internalisation of the complex by the host cell. We discuss the evidence that failure to suppress coronaviral replication within 5 days results in sustained downregulation of ACE2 protein expression, and that ACE2 is under negative-feedback regulation. We then expose openly-available experimental repository data that demonstrate the gene for ACE2 lies in a novel cluster of interegulated genes on the X chromosome including PIR encoding pirin (quercetin 2,3-dioxygenase), and VEGFD encoding the predominantly lung-expressed vascular endothelial growth factor D. The five double-elite enhancer/promoters that are known to be operational, and shared read-through lncRNA transcripts, imply that ongoing SARS-CoV-2 infection will reduce host defences to reactive oxygen species, directly generate superoxide O2 - and H2O2 (a "ROS storm"), and impair pulmonary endothelial homeostasis. Published cellular responses to oxidative stress complete the loop to pathophysiology observed in severe COVID-19. Thus for patients who fail to rapidly suppress viral replication, the newly-appreciated ACE2 co-regulated cluster predicts delayed responses that would account for catastrophic deteriorations. We conclude that ACE2 homeostatic drives provide a unified understanding which should help optimise therapeutic approaches during the wait until safe, effective vaccines and antiviral therapies for SARS-CoV-2 are delivered.
Eker OF, Boccardi E, Sure U, et al., 2020, European Reference Network for Rare Vascular Diseases (VASCERN) Position Statement on Cerebral Screening in Adults and Children with Hereditary Haemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT), Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, Vol: 15, ISSN: 1750-1172
Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is a multisystemic vascular dysplasia inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. Approximately 10 % of patients have cerebral vascular malformations, a proportion being cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and fistulae that may lead to potentially devastating consequences in case of rupture. On the other hand, detection and treatment related-risks are not negligible, and immediate. While successful treatment can be undertaken in individual cases, current data do not support the treatment of unruptured AVMs, which also present a low risk of bleeding in HHT patients. Screening for these AVMs is therefore controversial.Structured discussions, distinctions of different cerebrovascular abnormalities commonly grouped into an “AVM” bracket, and clear guidance by neurosurgical and neurointerventional radiology colleagues enabled the European Reference Network for Rare Vascular Disorders (VASCERN-HHT) to develop the following agreed Position Statement on cerebral screening:1) First, we emphasise that neurological symptoms suggestive of cerebral AVMs in HHT patients should be investigated as in general neurological and emergency care practice. Similarly, if an AVM is found accidentally, management approaches should rely on expert discussions on a case-by-case basis and individual risk-benefit evaluation of all therapeutic possibilities for a specific lesion.2) The current evidence base does not favour the treatment of unruptured cerebral AVMs, and therefore cannot be used to support widespread screening of asymptomatic HHT patients.3) Individual situations encompass a wide range of personal, cultural and clinical states. In order to enable informed patient choice, and avoid conflicting advice, particularly arising from non-neurovascular interpretations of the evidence base, we suggest that all HHT patients should have the opportunity to discuss knowingly brain screening issues with their healthcare provider.4) Any
Shovlin C, Vizcaychipi M, 2020, COVID-19 genomic susceptibility: Definition of ACE2 variants relevant to human infection with SARS-CoV-2 in the context of ACMG/AMP Guidance, Publisher: medRxiv
BACKGROUND Mortality remains very high and unpredictable in COVID-19, with intense public protection strategies tailored to preceived risk. Males are at greater risk of severe COVID-19 complications. Genomic studies are in process to identify differences in host susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS Genomic structures were examined for the ACE2 gene that encodes angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, the obligate receptor for SARS-CoV-2. Variants in 213,158 exomes/genomes were integrated with ACE2 protein functional domains, and pathogenicity criteria from the American Society of Human Genetics and Genomics/Association for Molecular Pathology. RESULTS 483 variants were identified in the 19 exons of ACE2 on the X chromosome. All variants were rare, including nine loss-of-function (potentially SARS-CoV-2 protective) alleles present only in female heterozygotes. Unopposed variant alleles were more common in males (262/3596 [7.3%] nucleotides) than females (9/3596 [0.25%] nucleotides, p<0.0001). 37 missense variants substituted amino acids in SARS-CoV-2 interacting regions or critical domains for transmembrane ACE2 expression. Four upstream open reading frames with 31 associated variants were identified. Excepting loss-of-function alleles, variants would not meet minimum criteria for classification as Likely Pathogenic/beneficial if differential frequencies emerged in patients with COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS Males are more exposed to consequences from a single variant ACE2 allele. Common risk/beneficial alleles are unlikely in regions subject to evolutionary constraint. ACE2 upstream open reading frames may have implications for aminoglycoside use in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. For this SARS-CoV-2-interacting protein with pre-identified functional domains, pre-emptive functional and computational studies are encouraged to accelerate interpretations of genomic variation for personalised and public health use.
Vizcaychipi M, Shovlin C, Hayes M, et al., 2020, Early detection of severe COVID-19 disease patterns define near real-time personalised care, bioseverity in males, and decelerating mortality rates., Publisher: medRxiv
BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is a global health emergency. Recent data indicate a 50% mortality rate across UK intensive care units. METHODS: A single institution, two-centre retrospective analysis following implementation of a Decision Support tool and real-time data dashboard for early detection of patients requiring personalised enhanced care, focussing particularly on respiratory rate, diastolic blood pressure, oxygenation indices, C-reactive protein, D-dimer and ferritin. Protocols differing from conventional practice included high-dose prophylactic anticoagulation for all COVID-19 positive patients and antioxidant prescription. RESULTS: By 22nd April 2020, 923 patients tested COVID-19 positive. 569 patients (61.7%) were male. The majority presented with advanced disease: interquartile ranges were C-reactive protein 44.9-179mg/L, D-dimer 1070-3802ng/L, and ferritin 261-1208μg/L. Completed case fatality rates were 25.1% [95% CI 20.0, 30.0] in females, 40.5% [95% CI 35.9, 45.0] in males. 139 patients were admitted to intensive care where current death rates are 16.2% [95% CI 3.8, 28.7] in females, 38.2% [95% CI 28.6, 47.8] in males with no trends for differences based on ethnicity. A real-time traffic lights dashboard enabled rapid assessment of patients using critical parameters to accelerate adjustments to management protocols. In total 513 (55.6%) of patients were flagged as high risk for thromboembolic disease, exceeding the numbers flagged for respiratory deteriorations (N=391, 42.4%), or cytokine storm (N=68, 7.4%). There was minimal evidence that age was associated with disease severity, but males had higher levels of all dashboard indices, particularly C-reactive protein and ferritin (p<0.0001) which displayed no relationship with age. CONCLUSIONS: Survival rates are encouraging. Protocols employed (traffic light-driven personalised care, protocolised early therapeutic anticoagulation based on D-dimer >1,000ng/L and/or CRP>200 mg/L, personalised ven
Shovlin C, Vizcaychipi M, 2020, Implications for COVID-19 triage from the ICNARC report of 2204 COVID-19 cases managed in UK adult intensive care units, Emergency Medicine Journal, Vol: 37, Pages: 332-333, ISSN: 1472-0205
Xiao S, Kai Z, Brown D, et al., 2020, Harnessing the 100,000 Genomes Project whole genome sequencing data - an unbiased systematic tool to filter by biologically validated regions of functionality, Publisher: MedRxiv
Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is championed by the UK National Health Service (NHS) to identify genetic variants that cause particular diseases. The full potential of WGS has yet to be realised as early data analytic steps prioritise protein-coding genes, and effectively ignore the less well annotated non-coding genome which is rich in transcribed and critical regulatory regions. To address, we developed a filter, which we call GROFFFY, and validated in WGS data from hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia patients within the 100,000 Genomes Project. Before filter application, the mean number of DNA variants compared to human reference sequence GRCh38 was 4,867,167 (range 4,786,039-5,070,340), and one-third lay within intergenic areas. GROFFFY removed a mean of 2,812,015 variants per DNA. In combination with allele frequency and other filters, GROFFFY enabled a 99.56% reduction in variant number. The proportion of intergenic variants was maintained, and no pathogenic variants in disease genes were lost. We conclude that the filter applied to NHS diagnostic samples in the 100,000 Genomes pipeline offers an efficient method to prioritise intergenic, intronic and coding gDNA variants. Reducing the overwhelming number of variants while retaining functional genome variation of importance to patients, enhances the near-term value of WGS in clinical diagnostics.
Thurairatnam S, Gawecki F, Strangeways T, et al., 2020, Triage assessment of cardiorespiratory risk status based on measurement of the anaerobic threshold, and estimation by activity limitation in patients with pulmonary arteriovenous malformations and hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia, Publisher: medRxiv
BACKGROUND: Rapid triaging, as in the current COVID-19 pandemic, focuses on age and pre-existing medical conditions. In contrast, preoperative assessments use cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) to categorise patients to higher and lower risk independent of diagnostic labels. Since CPET is not feasible in population-based settings, our aims included evaluation of a triage/screening tool for cardiorespiratory risk. METHODS: CPET-derived anaerobic thresholds were evaluated retrospectively in 26 patients with pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) who represent a challenging group to risk-categorise. Pulmonary AVM-induced hypoxaemia secondary to intrapulmonary right-to-left shunts, anaemia from underlying hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia and metabolic equivalents derived from the 13-point Veterans Specific Activity Questionnaire (VSAQ) were evaluated as part of routine clinical care. Pre-planned analyses evaluated associations and modelling of the anaerobic threshold and patient-specific variables. RESULTS: In the 26 patients (aged 21-77, median 57 years), anaerobic threshold ranged from 7.6-24.5 (median 12.35) ml.min-1kg-1 and placed more than half of the patients (15, 57.7%) in the >11 ml.min-1kg-1 category suggested as lower-risk for intra-abdominal surgeries. Neither age nor baseline SpO2 predicted anaerobic threshold, or lower/higher risk categories, either alone or in multivariate analyses, despite baseline oxygen saturation (SpO2) ranging from 79 to 99 (median 92)%, haemoglobin from 108 to 183 (median 156)g.L-1. However, lower haemoglobin, and particularly, arterial oxygen content and oxygen pulse were associated with increased cardiorespiratory risk: Modelling a haemoglobin increase of 25g.L-1 placed a further 7/26 (26.9%) patients in a lower risk category. For patients completing the VSAQ, derived metabolic equivalents were strongly associated with anaerobic threshold enabling risk evaluations through a simple questionnaire. CONCLUSIONS: Bas
Shovlin C, Millar C, Droege F, et al., 2019, Safety of direct oral anticoagulants in patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, Vol: 14, ISSN: 1750-1172
Background: Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is a rare vascular dysplasia resulting in visceral arteriovenous malformations and smaller mucocutaneous telangiectasia. Most patients experience recurrent nosebleeds and become anaemic without iron supplementation. However, thousands may require anticoagulation for conditions such as venous thromboembolismand/or atrial fibrillation. Over decades,tolerance data has been publishedfor almost 200HHT-affected usersof warfarinand heparins, but there are no publisheddata forthe newer direct oralanticoagulants(DOACs)in HHT. Methods: To provide such data, aretrospective audit was conducted across the eight HHT centres of the European Reference Network for Rare Vascular Disorders (VASCERN),in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and UK. Results: Although HHT Centreshad not specifically recommended the use of DOACs, 32treatment episodes had been initiated by other cliniciansin 28patients reviewed at the centres, at median age 65years(range 30-84). Indications were for atrial fibrillation (16 treatment episodes) and venous thromboembolism (16 episodes).The 32 treatment episodes used Apixaban (n=15), Rivaroxaban (n=14), and Dabigatran (n=3). HHT nosebleeds increased in severity in 24/32 treatment episodes (75%), leading to treatment discontinuation in 11 (34.4%). Treatment discontinuation was required for 4/15(26.7%) Apixabanepisodes and 7/14 (50%)Rivaroxaban episodes.By a 4 point scale of increasing severity,there was a trend for Rivaroxaban to be associated with a greaterbleeding riskboth including and excluding patients who had used more than one agent (age-adjusted coefficients 0.61 (95% confidence intervals 0.11, 1.20) and 0.74 (95% confidence intervals 0.12, 1.36) respectively. Associationswere maintained after adjustment for genderand treatment indication. Extreme haemorrhagic responses, worse thananything
Gawecki F, Strangeways T, Amin A, et al., 2019, Exercise capacity reflects airflow limitation rather than hypoxaemia in patients with pulmonary arteriovenous malformations, QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, Vol: 112, Pages: 335-342, ISSN: 1460-2393
Background: Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (PAVMs) generate a right-to-left shunt. Impaired gas exchange results in hypoxemia and impaired CO2 clearance. Most patients compensate effectively but a proportion are dyspneic, and these are rarely the most hypoxaemic. Aim: To test degrees of concurrent pathology influencing exercise capacity. Design: Replicate, sequential single centre, prospective studies. Methods: Cardiopulmonary exercise tests (CPET) were performed in 26 patients with PAVMs, including individuals with and without known airflow obstruction. To replicate, relationships were tested prospectively in an independent cohort where self-reported exercise capacity evaluated by the Veterans Specific Activity Questionnaire (VSAQ) was used to calculate metabolic equivalents at peak exercise (METS N = 71). Additional measurements included oxygen saturation (SpO2), forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), vital capacity (VC), exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), haemoglobin and iron indices. Results: By CPET, the peak work-rate was only minimally associated with low SpO2 or low arterial oxygen content (CaO2=1.34 x SpO2 x haemoglobin), but was reduced in patients with low FEV1 or VC. Supranormal work-rates were seen in patients with severe right-to-left shunting and SpO2 <90%, but only if FEV1 was >80% predicted. VSAQ-calculated METS also demonstrated little relationship with SpO2, and in crude and CaO2-adjusted regression, were lower in patients with lower FEV1 or VC. Bronchodilation increased airflow even where spirometry was in the normal range: exhaled nitric oxide measurements were normal in 80% of cases, and unrelated to any PAVM-specific variable. Conclusions: Exercise capacity is reduced by relatively mild airflow limitation (obstructive or restrictive) in the setting of PAVMs.
Alsafi A, Jackson JE, Fatania G, et al., 2019, Patients with in-situ metallic coils and amplatzer vascular plugs used to treat pulmonary arteriovenous malformations since 1984 can safely undergo magnetic resonance imaging, The British Journal of Radiology, Vol: 92, ISSN: 0007-1285
OBJECTIVES:To examine the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) safety of metallic coils and Amplatzer vascular plugs. Currently, concern regarding MR-safety of devices used to treat pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (PAVMs) causes delays in performing emergency MRI in patients presenting with acute neurological symptoms.METHODS:A retrospective audit was performed on all patients who underwent PAVM embolization at our institution between 1984 – 2017. Outcomes of all MRI studies performed at our institution were recorded. In addition, known outcomes of all known MRI studies performed on patients treated with the earliest steel coils (1984 – 1995) were recorded.RESULTS:At our institution, 20 patients underwent 1.5 T MRI after the insertion of 100 steel coils (15.5 – 28.6, median 22 years later), 140 coils designated MR-conditional (0.42 – 12.7, median 9.3 years later), and 54 MRI-conditional Amplatzer vascular plugs (0.17 – 8.0, median 0.75 years later), many in combination. The majority of scans were for cerebral indications, but other body regions scanned included spinal, thoracic, and pelvic regions. No adverse events were reported. Similarly, there were no adverse events in any MR scan known to have been performed in other institutions in seven further patients treated with the earliest steel coils (1984 – 1995). Again, the majority of scans were for cerebral indications.CONCLUSIONS:The findings demonstrate MR safety at 1.5 T of all PAVM embolization devices inserted in a main UK centre since inception in 1984.ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE:Magnetic resonance imaging of patients who have had pulmonary AVMs treated by embolization can be implemented without contacting specialist pulmonary arteriovenous malformation treatment centres for approval.
Thielemans L, Layton DM, Shovlin CL, 2019, Low serum haptoglobin and blood films suggest intravascular haemolysis contributes to severe anaemia in hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia, Haematologica, Vol: 104, Pages: e127-e130, ISSN: 0390-6078
Buscarini E, Botella LM, Geisthoff U, et al., 2019, Safety of thalidomide and bevacizumab in patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, Vol: 14, ISSN: 1750-1172
BackgroundHereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is a multisystemic inherited vascular dysplasia that leads to nosebleeds and visceral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). Anti-angiogenic drugs thalidomide and bevacizumab have been increasingly used off-label with variable results. The HHT working group within the ERN for Rare Multisystemic Vascular Diseases (VASCERN), developed a questionnaire-based retrospective capture of adverse events (AEs) classified using the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events.ResultsSixty-nine HHT patients received bevacizumab, 37 (50.6%) for high output cardiac failure/hepatic AVMs, and 32 (49.4%) for bleeding; the 69 patients received bevacizumab for a mean of 11 months for a total of 63.8 person/years treatment. 67 received thalidomide, all for epistaxis and/or gastrointestinal bleeding; they received thalidomide for a mean of 13.4 months/patient for a total of 75 person/years treatment. AEs were reported in 58 patients, 33 with bevacizumab, 37 with thalidomide. 32 grade 1–3 AEs related to bevacizumab were reported with an average incidence rate of 50 per 100 person-years. 34 grade 1–3 AEs related to thalidomide were reported with an average incidence rate of 45.3 per 100 person-years. Bevacizumab AEs were more common in females (27 AEs in 46 women) than males (6 in 23, p < 0.001). Thalidomide AEs occurred at more similar rates in males (25 AEs in 41 men, 60.9%) and females (12 in 26 (46.2%), but were more common in ENG patients (17 in 17) than in ACVRL1 (14 in 34, p < 0.0001). For bevacizumab, the most common reports were of joint pains (7/69, 10%), headache (3/69, 4.4%) and proteinuria (2/69, 3%), and for thalidomide, peripheral neuropathy (12/67, 18%); drowsiness (8/67, 12%); and dizziness (6/67, 9%). Fatal adverse events were more common in males (p = 0.009), and in patients with ENG pathogenic variants (p = 0.012). One fatal AE was
Gawecki F, Myers J, Shovlin C, 2019, The Veterans Specific Activity Questionnaire (VSAQ) - a new and efficient method of assessing exercise capacity in patients with pulmonary arteriovenous malformations, BMJ Open Respiratory Research, Vol: 6, ISSN: 2052-4439
INTRODUCTION: Assessment of performance status is an important component of clinical management of patients with pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (PAVMs). Usual methods are time-consuming and insensitive to variationswithinnormal or supranormal exercise capacity.METHODS: TheVeterans Specific Activity Questionnaire (VSAQ) wasmodifiedto facilitate completion by patients independently. Patient-reported activity limitations were converted to the MRC Dyspnea scale, NYHA Classification,and metabolic equivalents (METs) in which 1 MET equals the consumption of 3.5 ml O2per kilogram of body weight. RESULTS: The study population of71 patients with PAVMswas aged 20-85 (median 52) years.SaO2was80-99.5% (median 96%), and haemoglobin73-169g/L in females and 123-197g/L in males (p<0.0001). CaO2(1.34 x (haemoglobin ×SaO2)/100) was maintained unless iron deficiency was present. Most patients(49/71, 69%) did not need to stop until activities more energetic than walking briskly at 4 miles per hour were achieved (VSAQ >5; MRC Dyspnea Scale 1 or 2; NYHA Class I). SaO2was inversely associated with the MRC Dyspnea scale and NYHA class, but not theVSAQ. Raw VSAQ scores captured a marked difference between malesand females. METSwere also higherin malesat 3.97-15.55(median 8.84)kcal/kg/hour, compared to 1.33-14.4(median 8.25)kcal/kg/hour(p=0.0039). There was only a modest association between METsand oxygen saturation (SaO2, p=0.044), but a stronger association between METsand haemoglobin (p=0.001).In crude and sex-adjusted regression, the arterial oxygen content (CaO2) was more strongly associated with METsthan either SaO2or haemoglobin in isolation.CONCLUSION: The VSAQ,capturing patient reported outcome measures,is an efficient and quantifiable measure of exercise capacity that can be readily employed in clinical services particularly wherepatients have normal to high exercise tolerance. In th
Shovlin C, Bamford K, Sabbà C, et al., 2019, Prevention of serious infections in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia: roles for prophylactic antibiotics, the pulmonary capillaries-but not vaccination, Haematologica, Vol: 104, Pages: e85-e86, ISSN: 0390-6078
Fatania G, Gilson C, Glover A, et al., 2018, Uptake and radiological findings of screening cerebral magnetic resonance scans in patients with hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia, Intractable & rare diseases research, Vol: 7, Pages: 236-244, ISSN: 2186-361X
Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) results in arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), most commonly in the lungs, liver and brain. Discussion of cerebral vascular malformations is an important element of patient management. The current study objectives were to examine uptake and results of screening cerebral magnetic resonance (MR) scans, excluding symptomatic patients requiring neurological investigations. The remaining non-symptomatic individuals received formal pretest counselling that differed according to family history. For the 603 patients with no neurological symptoms of concern, screening scan uptake was higher after publication of the ARUBA trial. Patients with a family history of cerebral haemorrhage were 4 to 14-fold more likely to have a screening scan than patients with no such family history. For patients without neurological symptoms suggesting cerebral AVMs, none of the 59 screening scans performed at our institution demonstrated a cerebral AVM. Four scans (6.8%) demonstrated small aneurysms. The most common abnormality was cerebral infarction (20/59, 33.9%), predominantly identified in patients with pulmonary AVMs. Of 29 pulmonary AVM patients with no previous history of clinical stroke, 16 (55.2%) had between one and five silent infarcts. For HHT patients with pulmonary AVMs, the most frequently affected sites were the cerebellum (40%) and thalamus (14.3%), and the age-adjusted odds ratio for an infarct was 21.6 (95% confidence intervals 3.7, 126), p = 0.001. We concluded that for cerebral screening programmes in HHT, the findings support informed patient choice incorporating understanding that cerebral AVMs are rare in non-symptomatic HHT patients, but that screening scans commonly detect silent cerebral infarction due to pulmonary AVMs.
Alsafi A, Shovlin CL, Jackson JE, 2018, Acquired Transpleural Systemic Artery-to-Pulmonary Artery Communication Mimicking a Pulmonary Arteriovenous Malformation and Causing a False-Positive Diagnosis of a Pulmonary Embolus, JVIR: Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Vol: 29, Pages: 1313-1315, ISSN: 1051-0443
Shovlin CL, Buscarini E, Kjeldsen AD, et al., 2018, European Reference Network for Rare Vascular Diseases (VASCERN) outcome measures for hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1750-1172
Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is a multisystemic vascular dysplasia that leads to nosebleeds, anaemia due to blood loss, and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) in organs such as the lungs, liver and brain. HHT is estimated to affect 85,000 European citizens, but most health care providers have limited prior HHT exposure or training.Outcome Measures were developed and implemented by the HHT Working Group of the European Reference Network for Rare Vascular Diseases (VASCERN), in order to maximise the number of patients receiving good care. The measures specifically target areas where optimal management reduces morbidity and mortality in HHT patients, and were designed to be robust to emerging new evidence. Thresholds are the percentage of patients in particular settings who have been recommended screening, or provided with written advice. The 5 Outcome Measures cover (1) pulmonary AVM screening; (2) written nosebleed advice, (3) assessment of iron deficiency; (4) antibiotic prophylaxis prior to dental and surgical procedures for patients with pulmonary AVMs, and (5) written advice on pregnancy. They are not a blueprint for detailed HHT management, but are suitable for all clinicians to be aware of and implement.In summary, these 5 Outcome Measures provide metrics to identify healthcare providers of good care, and encourage care improvement by all healthcare providers.
Andrejecsk JW, Hosman AE, Botella LM, et al., 2017, Executive summary of the 12th HHT international scientific conference, Angiogenesis, Vol: 21, Pages: 169-181, ISSN: 0969-6970
Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia is an autosomal dominant trait affecting approximately 1 in 5000 people. A pathogenic DNA sequence variant in the ENG, ACVRL1 or SMAD4 genes, can be found in the majority of patients. The 12th International Scientific HHT Conference was held on June 8–11, 2017 in Dubrovnik, Croatia to present and discuss the latest scientific achievements, and was attended by over 200 scientific and clinical researchers. In total 174 abstracts were accepted of which 58 were selected for oral presentations. This article covers the basic science and clinical talks, and discussions from three theme-based workshops. We focus on significant emergent themes and unanswered questions. Understanding these topics and answering these questions will help to define the future of HHT research and therapeutics, and ultimately bring us closer to a cure.
Shovlin CL, Condliffe R, Donaldson JW, et al., 2017, British Thoracic Society Clinical Statement on Pulmonary Arteriovenous Malformations., Thorax, Vol: 72, Pages: 1154-1163, ISSN: 1468-3296
Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (PAVMs) are structurally abnormal vascular communications that provide a continuous right-to-left shunt between pulmonary arteries and veins. Their importance stems from the risks they pose (>1 in 4 patients will have a paradoxical embolic stroke, abscess or myocardial infarction while life-threatening haemorrhage affects 1 in 100 women in pregnancy), opportunities for risk prevention, surprisingly high prevalence and under-appreciation, thus representing a challenging condition for practising healthcare professionals. The driver for the current Clinical Statement was the plethora of new data since previous hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) guidelines generated in 2006 and a systematic Cochrane Review for PAVM embolisation in 2011. The British Thoracic Society (BTS) identified key areas in which there is now evidence to drive a change in practice. Due to the paucity of data in children, this Statement focused on adults over 16 years. The Statement spans the management of PAVMs already known to be present (interventional and medical), screening and diagnosis (for PAVMs and HHT) and follow-up of patients following a first diagnosis, intervention or negative screen for PAVMs. The Good Practice Points (in bold) were generated for a target audience of general respiratory, medical and specialist clinicians and were approved by the BTS Standards of Care Committee, before formal peer review and public consultation. The Statement spans embolisation treatment, accessory medical management and issues related to the likelihood of underlying HHT.
Shovlin CL, Condliffe R, Donaldson JW, et al., 2017, Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations emerge from the shadows, Thorax, Vol: 72, Pages: 1071-1073, ISSN: 1468-3296
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