Novel usage of fresh frozen plasma in hereditary angioedema

Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare and potentially life threatening autosomal dominant disease characterized by recurrent episodes of cutaneous and mucosal oedema. It results from reduced expression or loss of function of CI-esterase inhibitors (C1-INH). As opposed to the more common histamine-mediated angioedema, HAE does not respond well to conventional treatments with anti-histamines, steroids and adrenaline. Early recognition and timely intervention with the correct treatment are crucial particularly preventing airway obstruction. New disease specific treatment including plasma derived or recombinant C1-INH, ecallantide and icatibant have recently emerged and its appropriate use can reduce HAE-associated mortality and morbidity. However due to its costs, these disease specific treatments have yet to reach Malaysia. Despite that no randomized clinical trial on FFP has been performed, its efficacy in treating acute attacks of HAE is only demonstrated in case studies. This case report illustrates the successful treatment of acute HAE episode with FFP in a Malaysian government hospital setting.