Hereditary angioedema and lupus: A French retrospective study and literature review

Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare genetic disorder that is primarily caused by a defect in the C1 inhibitor (C1-INH). The recurrent symptoms are subcutaneous edema and abdominal pain. Laryngeal edema, which can also occur, is life threatening if it goes untreated. HAE can be associated with some inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, particularly lupus. The aim of this study was to describe cases of lupus among HAE patients in France and to perform a literature review of lupus and HAE studies. Case detection and data collection (a standardized form) were performed, thanks to the French Reference Center for Kinin-related angioedema. Data were collected from 6 patients with type 1 HAE and lupus in France; no cases of systemic lupus erythematosus were reported. In the literature review, 32 cases of lupus combined with HAE were identified, including 26 female patients. The median patient age at the time of first reported HAE symptoms and at diagnosis were 17.5 years (range, 9-41 years) and 19 years (range, 9-64 years), respectively for our 6 patients and 14 years (range, 3-30 years) and 17 years (range, 7-48 years), respectively, for the literature review. The clinical manifestations of HAE were mainly abdominal pain (83% in our patients vs 47% in the literature) and edema of the limbs (83% vs 38%). The C4 levels were low (for 100% of our cases vs 93% in the literature). Eighteen patients in the literature demonstrated HAE symptoms prior to the lupus onset vs 5 for our patients. The mean patient age at lupus onset was 20 years (range, 13-76 years) for our patients and 19.5 years (range, 1-78 years) in the literature, respectively. In the literature, 81% of the patients had skin manifestations, 25% had renal involvement and 28% received systemic steroids to treat lupus. Treatment with danazol did not modify the clinical expression of lupus. The association between lupus and HAE is a rare but not unanticipated event. Patients are often symptomatic for HAE before developing lupus. Lupus cases associated with HAE share some characteristics of lupus cases related to other complement deficiencies, such as the absence of severity and the predominance of cutaneous symptoms.Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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