The spectrum and treatment of angioedema

Angioedema manifests as episodes of localized swelling in the dermis and submucosa. The key to successful management is detection and avoidance of triggers, early recognition of attacks, and aggressive airway management when warranted. Review of a patient’s medication list may identify drugs that include angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blockers as the cause. Initial treatment in a patient presenting with most forms of angioedema includes antihistamines and glucocorticoids if required. Epinephrine should be administered if there is concern for laryngeal edema. Patients who have a known history of hereditary angioedema should receive C1 esterase inhibitor concentrate or fresh-frozen plasma. [References: 12].


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