Angioedema is a problem that the otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon is often asked to treat. This report concerns 17 patients admitted for care during a 5-year period. At their initial presentation, 94% of these patients manifested signs and symptoms of angioedema in the head and neck; three of them required urgent tracheotomy or intubation. As treatment of complement-mediated angioedema is distinct, an etiology-specific diagnostic and treatment protocol is presented. Of the patients, 35% had recent initiation of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor therapy for hypertension, and 6% demonstrated classic hereditary angioedema. However, the majority of them (59%) had unclear etiologies for their symptoms. Since angioedema is the final result of several possible abnormalities, a thorough knowledge of the differential diagnosis and clinical presentation is vital to patient management. [References: 18].
Available online at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1288/00005537-199203000-00005/abstract (small fee)