BACKGROUND: Hereditary angioedema with C1 inhibitor deficiency (C1-INH-HAE) is a rare, potentially life-threatening disorder characterized by recurrent edematous attacks. The edema formation is the consequence of interaction of bradykinin and various vasoactive peptides with endothelium. Besides these agents, danazol, a modified testosterone derivative used in these patients to prevent edematous attacks, can also affect the function of the endothelium, because it shifts the blood lipid profile to a pro-atherogenic phenotype.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the endothelial function in C1-INH-HAE patients and in healthy matched controls.
METHODS: To evaluate the endothelial function, we used the flow-mediated dilation method measured in the region of the brachial artery in 33 C1-INH-HAE patients and in 30 healthy matched controls. Laboratory measurements of standard biochemical parameters were performed on computerized laboratory analyzers.
RESULTS: No difference was found in endothelial function (reactive hyperemia, RH) between patients (median, 9.0; 25%-75% percentile, 6.3-12.9) and controls (median, 7.37; 25%-75% percentile, 4.52-9.93). Although we found elevated cardiovascular risk (high body mass index and low-density lipoprotein/high-density lipoprotein ratio) in danazol-treated C1-INH-HAE patients, RH values did not differ between danazol-treated and nontreated patients. Furthermore, risk factors correlated with the endothelial function only in healthy controls and patients not treated with danazol.
CONCLUSION: In summary, our results did not indicate any signs of endothelial dysfunction in C1-INH-HAE patients. Moreover, the normal endothelial function in danazol-treated patients with pro-atherogenic lipid profile suggests that elevated bradykinin level or other factor(s) involved in the pathogenesis of edematous attacks may have a protective role against endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.