Excessive activation of the protein cascade systems often leads to severe inflammatory tissue destruction with potential life-threatening outcome. These include clinical disorders, such as capillary leak syndrome, septic shock, myocardial infarction and other ischaemia/reperfusion injuries, trauma, burns, multiple organ failure, as well as graft rejection. A therapeutic substitution of appropriate regulators appears to be a reasonable approach to reduce undesirable inflammatory reactions. C1-inhibitor, a multifunctional regulator of the various kinin-generating cascade systems, is frequently reduced in patients suffering from severe inflammation. C1-inhibitor concentrate has been used for decades as a substitution therapy to treat acute attacks in patients with hereditary angioedema. Studies including pathophysiologically relevant animal models now provide sufficient evidence that C1-inhibitor may also serve as an effective means to protect against inflammatory tissue injury. Promising clinical results are emerging which support C1-inhibitor as a candidate for therapy in severe inflammatory disorders. Although treatment with C1-inhibitor is regarded as safe, recent reports on possible side effects in certain clinical situations emphasise the importance of controlled clinical studies. The following review will focus on the impact of C1-inhibitor treatment on diseases, where complement contributes to the pathogenesis. [References: 138].
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