Hereditary angioedema due to C1-inhibitor deficiency in Romania: First national study, diagnostic and treatment challenges

BACKGROUND: Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare genetic potentially life-threatening disease characterized by episodic non-pruritic subcutaneous and submucosal edema attacks in different parts of the body.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the status of Romanian HAE patients after the recent introduction of a new therapy through a nationwide program.

METHODS: This cross-sectional observational study included patients from the Romanian HAE Registry.

RESULTS: The study included 84 patients with HAE type I (91.7%) and type II (8.3%). The mean delay in diagnosis was 2.4 years in children and 16.7 years in adults (p=0.019). Stress and tiredness were the most frequent trigger factors. The majority of the HAE episodes involved subcutaneous (89.3%), abdominal (77.4%), genital (51.2%), facial (41.7%), and laryngeal (39.3%) symptoms during the preceding 12 months. One or several misdiagnoses were reported in 83.33% patients and 44.1 % of the patients were subjected to or proposed unnecessary surgery during abdominal episodes. Plasma-derived C1-INH (pdC1-INH) and recombinant C1-INH (rhC1-INH) were respectively used in 10 (11.9%) and 13 (15.5%) of the HAE patients for life-threatening attacks over the past 12 months. Forty-three (51.19%) patients practiced home treatment with subcutaneous injection of the bradykinin B2-receptor antagonist for acute HAE attacks.

CONCLUSION: The significantly lower delay observed in children suggests an improvement in the awareness of C1-INH-HAE among physicians in recent years. The management of HAE in Romania has been somewhat enhanced as the majority of HAE patients have recently gained access to pdC1-INH, rhC1-INH, and bradykinin B2-receptor antagonist.

Available from: