Towards a specific marker for acute bradykinin-mediated angioedema attacks: a literature review

Alban Deroux, Isabelle Vilgrain, Chantal Dumestre-Pérard, Isabelle Boccon-Gibod, Laurence Bouillet
European Journal of Dermatology: EJD 2015, 25 (4): 290-5

BACKGROUND: Bradykinin-mediated angioedema (AE) is a rare disease characterised by recurrent angioedema linked to acquired (e.g. angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor induced AE) or hereditary disorders (e.g. AE type I or II). As the clinical picture can be misleading, diagnosis of this disease is sometimes difficult. A bradykinin-mediated AE attack may be a therapeutic emergency which requires access to effective, but expensive, treatments. Their prescription must therefore be justified. No specific marker of acute bradykinin-mediated AE attacks has yet been identified to facilitate the therapeutic decision but it has been sought in many studies.

PURPOSE: This article reviews the literature on this type of biomarker, comparing candidate bradykinin-mediated AE markers to candidate markers of mast cell activation.

CONCLUSION: The most interesting biomarkers are those linked to endothelial stress (VE cadherin, E-selectin, endothelin-1, von Willebrand factor and its activity) which is significantly increased during an AE attack. All these markers must now be validated by prospective studies to determine their specificity and utility in diagnosis.

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