Document Detail

Recurrent angioedema and the threat of asphyxiation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20589206     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Recurrent angioedema may affect the skin or, less commonly, the tongue, gastrointestinal tract, and larynx. Angioedema is a clinical sign that can be produced by a variety of diseases. Asphyxiation due to edematous obstruction of the upper airway is rare, but, for the affected patients, it is a permanent risk.
METHODS: Review of the literature based on a selective search and the authors' decades of experience treating patients with angioedema in a dedicated ambulatory care unit.
RESULTS: Hereditary angioedema due to C1 esterase inhibitor deficiency has been intensively studied, and nearly all steps in its pathogenesis are known, from the causative gene defect all the way to the clinical presentation of angioedema. Bradykinin is the main mediator in this pathway. New treatment options (icatibant; C1-inhibitor concentrate for self-administration and long-term treatment) have helped patients considerably. In recent years, a new type of hereditary angioedema has been described, resulting not from a lack of C1 inhibitor, but rather from mutations of coagulation factor XII or other, as yet unidentified genetic abnormalities. There are major differences in the pharmacological treatment of the different diseases that cause angioedema. In an emergency, when severe upper airway obstruction can be life-threatening, immediate treatment is needed to keep the upper airway open.
CONCLUSION: In patients with recurrent angioedema, the diagnostic classification of the underlying disorder as a particular type of hereditary or acquired angioedema is a prerequisite for appropriate treatment.
Konrad Bork
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review     Date:  2010-06-11
Journal Detail:
Title:  Deutsches Ärzteblatt international     Volume:  107     ISSN:  1866-0452     ISO Abbreviation:  Dtsch Arztebl Int     Publication Date:  2010 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-06-30     Completed Date:  2010-12-16     Revised Date:  2013-05-29    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101475967     Medline TA:  Dtsch Arztebl Int     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  408-14     Citation Subset:  IM    
Universitäts-Hautklinik, Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Mainz, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Airway Obstruction / etiology*
Ambulatory Care
Angioedema / complications*,  diagnosis,  genetics
Asphyxia / etiology*
Complement C1 Inhibitor Protein / genetics
DNA Mutational Analysis
Factor XII / genetics
Risk Factors
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Complement C1 Inhibitor Protein; 9001-30-3/Factor XII

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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