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Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia

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The term telangiectasia refers to a spot formed, usually on the skin, by a dilated capillary or terminal artery. In hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia these spots occur because the blood vessel is fragile and bleeds easily. The bleeding may appear as small, red or reddish-violet spots on the face, lips, inside the mouth and nose or the tips of the fingers and toes. Other small telangiectasias may occur in the digestive tract.

Unlike hemophilia, where bleeding is caused by an ineffective clotting mechanism in the blood, bleeding in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia is caused by fragile blood vessels. However, like hemophilia, bleeding may be extensive and can occur without warning.

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