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Information About Angioedema

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Angioedema (BE: angiooedema), also known by its eponym Quincke's edema and the older term Angioneurotic Edema, is the rapid swelling (edema) of the skin, mucosa and submucosal tissues. Apart from the common form, mediated by allergy, it has been reported as a side effect of some medications, specifically ACE inhibitors. Additionally, there is an inherited form, due to deficiency of the blood protein C1-inhibitor. This form is called hereditary Angioedema (HAE) or hereditary angio-neurotic edema (HANE), which is due to C1-esterase inhibitor deficiency.

Cases where Angioedema progresses rapidly should be treated as a medical emergency as airway obstruction and suffocation can occur. Rapid treatment with epinephrine, often with an epi-pen, can be life-saving.

History

Dr Heinrich Quincke first described the clinical picture of Angioedema in 1882. Sir William Osler remarked in 1888 that some cases may have a hereditary basis; he coined the term hereditary angio-neurotic edema.

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