Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage: A Manifestation of the Telomere Biology Disorders

Ryan W. Himes*, Eric H. Chiou, Karen Queliza, Dror S. Shouval, Raz Somech, Suneet Agarwal, Kunal Jajoo, David S. Ziegler, Christian P. Kratz, James Huang, Tiffany L. Lucas, Kasiani C. Myers, Adam S. Nelson, Courtney D. DiNardo, Blanche P. Alter, Neelam Giri, Payal P. Khincha, Lisa J. McReynolds, Carlo Dufour, Filomena PierriFrederick D. Goldman, Youmna Sherif, Sharon A. Savage, Tamir Miloh, Alison A. Bertuch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To describe the clinical features, therapeutic interventions, and patient outcomes of gastrointestinal (GI) hemorrhage in individuals with a telomere biology disorder, including dyskeratosis congenita, Hoyeraal–Hreidarsson syndrome, Revesz syndrome, and Coats plus. Study design: Clinical Care Consortium for Telomere Associated Ailments members were invited to contribute data on individuals with telomere biology disorders at their institutions who experienced GI bleeding. Patient demographic, laboratory, imaging, procedural, and treatment information and outcomes were extracted from the medical record. Results: Sixteen patients who experienced GI hemorrhage were identified at 11 centers. Among 14 patients who underwent genetic testing, 8 had mutations in TINF2, 4 had mutations in CTC1 or STN1, and 1 patient each had a mutation in TERC and RTEL1. Ten patients had a history of hematopoietic cell transplantation. The patients with Coats plus and those without Coats plus had similar clinical features and courses. Angiodysplasia of the stomach and/or small bowel was described in 8 of the 12 patients who underwent endoscopy; only 4 had esophageal varices. Various medical interventions were trialed. No single intervention was uniformly associated with cessation of bleeding, although 1 patient had a sustained response to treatment with bevacizumab. Recurrence was common, and the overall long-term outcome for affected patients was poor. Conclusions: GI bleeding in patients with telomere biology disorders is associated with significant morbidity and with vascular ectasias rather than varices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-61.e4
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • coats plus
  • dyskeratosis congenita
  • gastrointestinal hemorrhage
  • telomere biology disorder
  • vascular ectasia


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