Recent advances in the management of hereditary angioedema

Stephen E Hemperly, Niti Sardana Agarwal, Ying-Yang Xu, Yu-Xiang Zhi, Timothy J Craig
Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 2013, 113 (7): 546-55
Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare genetic condition that manifests as painful and potentially life-threatening episodic attacks of cutaneous and submucosal swelling. It results from functional deficiency of C1 inhibitor (C1 INH), which is a regulator of the complement, fibrinolytic, kinin (contact), and coagulation systems. In patients with HAE, the low plasma concentration of functional C1 INH leads to overactivation of the kinin cascade and local release of bradykinin. Bradykinin is responsible for the pain, vascular permeability changes, and edema associated with HAE. Until recently, therapeutic options for HAE have been very limited. Many new therapies have emerged, however, such as C1 INH replacement drugs and medications aimed at components of the contact system (eg, plasma kallikrein inhibitor and bradykinin B2 receptor antagonist). The authors review current and novel treatments for patients with HAE.

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