Prominent features of allergic angioedema on oral mucosa

Tomislav Duvancić, Liborija Lugović-Mihić, Ante Brekalo, Mirna Situm, Ana Sinković
Acta Clinica Croatica 2011, 50 (4): 531-8
Angioedema indicates acute subcutaneous edema that characterizes improperly restricted cutaneous or mucous membrane swelling, which can occur only once or be relapsing. Edema usually occurs in the periorbital area, lips, tongue, extremities and intestinal wall. It has turned out that angioedema is usually caused by the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE) or allergies to certain allergens (allergic or IgE-mediated angioedema), followed by C1 inhibitor deficiency (hereditary and acquired angioedema), or the cause is unknown (idiopathic angioedema). It has been shown that patients with angioedema often have urticaria, which is noted in approximately 50% of cases. Usually there is a type I allergic reaction to some food allergens or drugs or insect stings. The most common causes of allergic angioedema are bee and wasp stings, reactions to medications or injections for sensitivity testing, and certain foods (especially eggs, shellfish and nuts). In diagnostic terms, it is important to determine the potential allergen, which is commonly performed with cutaneous tests, such as prick test, etc. The main risk of angioedema is swelling of the tongue, larynx and trachea, which can lead to airway obstruction and death, therefore tracheotomy is indicated in such cases. The initial treatment of patients with most forms of angioedema included administration of antihistamines and glucocorticoids, while epinephrine is given if there is fear from laryngeal edema.

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