Treatment of angiotensin receptor blocker-induced angioedema: A case series

BACKGROUND: Angiotensin II receptor antagonists have been proposed as a replacement therapy after the occurrence of either an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor-induced angioedema or cough. However, recent studies indicate that angioedema is associated with elevated bradykinin levels in a small fraction of patients treated with angiotensin-II-receptor blockers, suggesting a common pathophysiological mechanism. To date, a standard treatment for angiotensin II receptor blocker-induced angioedema does not exist.

METHODS: We present a case series of patients admitted to our hospital due to angioedema induced by an angiotensin II receptor blocker. The patients were either treated with either icatibant (n = 3) or prednisolone-21-hydrogen succinate/clemastine (n = 5). Both patient groups were compared with an untreated patient cohort (n = 3). All patients were previously diagnosed with essential hypertonia.

RESULTS: Icatibant was an effective therapy for angiotensin II receptor blocker-induced angioedema. Full symptom recovery was achieved after 5 to 7 hours, whereas symptom remission occurred within 27 to 52 and 24 to 54 hours in patients treated with Solu-Decortin prednisolone/clemastine and untreated patients, respectively. The recovery time for icatibant was similar to that described in previous studies regarding the therapeutic efficacy of icatibant for the treatment of hereditary angioedema and patients suffering from angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor-induced angioedema.

CONCLUSIONS: Icatibant is a safe and effective substance for the treatment of angiotensin II receptor blocker-induced angioedema. Although the pathophysiology of angiotensin II receptor blocker-induced angioedema remains unclear, it appears to be associated with the bradykinin pathway.Copyright © 2015 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.

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