Fresh frozen plasma for the treatment of hereditary angioedema acute attacks

OBJECTIVE: To determine the safety and efficacy of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) infusion for the treatment of hereditary angioedema (HAE).

METHODS: The medical records of patients with HAE admitted to Peking Union Medical College Hospital who had received FFP infusion during 2004 and 2010 were reviewed and PubMed database from 1966 to the present were searched using the following hereditary angioedema and fresh frozen plasma. The patient’s age, sex, body location of HAE attacks, the dose of FFP infusion, time of beginning to improvement, time to complete remission, complication, C1 inhibitor activity, and outcome were analyzed.

RESULTS: A total of 13 enrolled patients (7 male and 6 female) received 16 times of FFP infusion, including 2 patients undergoing FFP infusion in Peking Union Medical College Hospital and 11 patients reported in the literature. The mean dosage of FFP infusion was 586-/+337 mL. Two cases suffered from worsening abdominal pain and one case experienced skin rash. Only 1 patient had no improvement in symptom owing to transfusion related reaction. There was a definite improvement in symptom 49-/+19 minutes after beginning FFP infusion. The remission time decreased from 61.7-/+27.0 hours to 3.3 (2.0, 12.0) hours after FFP infusion. FFP infusion was effective for both type I and type II HAE.

CONCLUSION: FFP seems to be safe and effective for acute attacks of HAE.