- This is a syndrome of swelling in the deep layers of the skin. Lip swelling is usually prominent. It is often associated with Urticaria (hives).
- Angioedema is often caused by an allergic type reaction (i.e., the body's defense system mistakenly goes off, initiating reactions in the body). This occurs because histamine released from mast cells starts a cascade of events that result in allergy and Angioedema.
- Lip swelling
- Eyelid swelling
- Tongue swelling
- Intermittent sharp abdominal pain
- History of sudden onset of shortness
- Foods (i.e., shellfish, eggs,
nuts, chocolate, tomatoes, milk, and berries)
- Bee stings
- Dermographism (a form of Urticaria)
- Inherited forms (genetic) hereditary Angioedema or HEA
- Complement mediated (an immune
- Medications (nonallergic, but
direct cause, such as ACE inhibitors)
- Other anti-inflammatories
- Emotional stress
- Swelling of lips, eyelid or
tongue -- usually resolves within 72 hours.
- There is very little aching.
- Hives may or may not be present.
- Stridor (wheezing in neck area)
- Laboratory findings may include:
- Abnormal complement levels (i.e.,
C4, C1 assay may help in diagnosing HAE)
- Vasculitis workup may be done (ANA, RA, CBC, ESR) if no other etiology for Angioedema is
- Rarely, skin biopsy is
- Antihistamines (e.g., Hydroxyzine
for acute attacks)
- Doxepin (an older antidepressant)
helps with chronic (continuous) form
- Calcium channel
- Plasmapheresis (exchange of plasma in blood) used for
rare unresponsive chronic
- Angioedema can be life
threatening. Seek emergency medical
- Identify and eliminate causative
agents. Special diets may be
- Angioedema often involves complicated immune chemical pathways. Often your primary care physician will need to refer you to allergy specialists in order to properly treat your condition.
If you want your friend to read or know about this article, Click here