BACKGROUND: Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI)-induced angioedema can occur at any point during therapy and, when severe, can require mechanical ventilation. Standard agents for anaphylactic reactions have limited efficacy for bradykinin-mediated angioedema and, therefore, agents approved for hereditary angioedema are increasingly prescribed for these patients.
OBJECTIVE OF THE REVIEW: This systematic review critically evaluates evidence describing the off-label use of fresh frozen plasma (FFP), prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC), complement 1 esterase inhibitor (C1-INH), icatibant, and ecallantide for treatment of ACEI-induced angioedema.
DISCUSSION: A PubMed search was conducted and articles were cross-referenced for additional citations. All full-text clinical trials, case series, and case reports published in the English language describing pharmacologic treatment of ACEI-induced angioedema were included. Thirty-seven publications detailing FFP, PCC, and regimens approved for hereditary angioedema, including icatibant, ecallantide, and C1-INH, are reviewed extensively.
CONCLUSIONS: While findings of decreased time to symptom resolution or a cessation in symptom progression have been reported with each of these therapies, additional data showing clinically relevant implications, such as reduced intensive care unit length of stay or avoidance of mechanical ventilation, are warranted, especially when taking cost into consideration. FFP has limited evidence demonstrating a benefit for treatment of ACEI-induced angioedema without consistent dosing strategies. However, given its wide availability and low potential for adverse reactions, FFP therapy may be reasonable. Of the novel agents traditionally used for hereditary angioedema, icatibant has the highest level of evidence and has been reported to be successful in limiting the progression of angioedema.
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