Clinical & Experimental Allergy

Update on treatment of hereditary angioedema

Authors


Correspondence:

Timothy J. Craig, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care, Medicine and Pediatrics, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State University, 500 University Drive, H041, Hershey, PA 17033, USA.

E-mail: tcraig@psu.edu

Summary

Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare disease characterized by recurrent, self-limiting episodes of swelling. New research and therapies have recently emerged and are now available; however, many physicians are not aware of the new developments in HAE. To update immunologists and other health care providers on new advances in HAE therapies, a PubMed, OVID and Google literature search were used to develop this manuscript. English language peer-reviewed angioedema articles were selected. High quality clinical trials were reviewed and summarized. Acute therapy in the past often consisted of symptom relief with narcotics, hydration and fresh frozen plasma (FFP). Androgens and FFP are frequently used despite multiple, significant side-effects. Newer therapies include C1-inhibitor – both human plasma derived and recombinant – as well as contact system modulators such as ecallantide and icatibant. These newer products can be used for treatment of acute attacks of HAE, and C1-inhibitors can also be used for prophylaxis. These disease-specific therapies have proven to work by placebo-controlled studies, have minimal adverse effects and can be utilized for the treatment of HAE.

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