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Keywords:

  • hereditary angio-oedema;
  • children;
  • danazol;
  • tranexamic acid;
  • C1-esterase inhibitor concentrate

Hereditary angio-oedema (HAE) results from the deficiency of C1-esterase inhibitor (C1-INH). The clinical picture of this autosomal dominant disorder is characterized by recurrent attacks of subcutaneous oedema and/or potentially life-threatening swelling of the submucosa. This review discusses the authors' decade-long experience obtained in the treatment and follow-up of pediatric patients with HAE. Twenty-six children with HAE were reviewed. Pedigree analysis was performed in all cases to identify afflicted relatives. C1-INH concentrate was reserved for the emergency treatment of acute oedematous attacks, whereas tranexamic acid and danazol were administered for short- or long-term prophylaxis. Follow-up care included laboratory tests and abdominal ultrasound, which was repeated at regular intervals. Twenty-one children had Type I HAE and five suffered from Type II HAE. Clinical manifestations of the disease first occured in children when 2.5–12 years of age. Oedema formation primarily afflicted subcutaneous tissues. Mechanical trauma was identified as a precipitating factor in 20 patients. Pedigree analysis revealed 24 patients with relatives who suffered from HAE. Long-term prophylaxis with tranexamic acid or danazol was initiated in 11 patients; two children required short-term prophylaxis. No drug-related adverse effects were observed, except for one case of delayed menarche. Therapy improved serum complement parameters significantly and substantially reduced the frequency and severity of clinical episodes. Adequate prophylaxis and follow-up care can spare pediatric patients from oedematous attacks caused by HAE. Undesirable adverse effects can be avoided and the patient's quality of life enhanced considerably by administering the lowest effective drug dose.