Top Level Navigation

A case of hereditary angioneurotic oedema, successfully treated with epsilon-aminocaproic acid. Studies on C’1 esterase inhibitor, C’1 activation, plasminogen level and histamine metabolism.

A patient with clinical and laboratory findings characteristic of hereditary angioneurotic oedema was investigated. The patient was observed for a period of 5 weeks, during which he had four attacks. ε-Aminocaproic acid (EACA) was then given continuously for 5 months, during which time the patient had no attacks. Attacks reappeared on withdrawal of EACA. Trans-4-(aminomethyl) cyclohexane carboxylic acid (AMCA®) was found to be equally effective in later therapeutic trials.

C’1 esterase inhibitor was found in low concentration in defibrinated plasma also during attacks. ε-Aminocaproic acid (EACA) produced no significant change of the inhibitor content. C’1 esterase inhibitor disappeared on incubation of defibrinated plasma from the patient at 37°C for 40 min, and C’1 esterase was generated. The generation time of C’1 esterase increased with increasing the concentration of EDTA in the test solution. The C’1 esterase inhibitor content of defibrinated plasma from the patient, varied with the C’1 esterase generation time, the coefficient of correlation being higher in plasma sampled before treatment with EACA.

Plasminogen and α2-macroglobulin were within the normal ranges, also during attacks. EACA markedly depressed the plasminogen level, which rapidly returned to normal on withdrawal of the drug.

The studies on histamine metabolism revealed no significant changes with the exception of the urinary excretion of histamine, which was moderately increased towards the end of the period studied.

On the days the patient received EACA the urine never contained 1-methylimidazole-5-acetic acid which was present in all the other specimens of urine examined. The basal gastric acid secretion was increased.

Available online at:

Comments are closed.