Treatment of hereditary angioedema: a review (CME)

Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare autosomal dominant disorder characterized by recurrent attacks of self-limiting tissue swelling. The management of HAE has transformed dramatically with recently approved therapies in the United States. However, there is lack of awareness among physicians about these new modalities. The aim of this review is to update the practicing physician about various therapeutic options available for HAE patients. An exhaustive literature search of PubMed and OVID was performed to develop this article. Management of HAE is traditionally classified into treatment of acute attacks or on-demand therapy, short-term (preprocedural) prophylaxis, and long-term prophylaxis. Newer therapies include C1 esterase inhibitor (C1-INH) and contact system modulators, namely, ecallantide and icatibant. Recombinant C1-INH, which is available in Europe, is awaiting approval in the United States. C1-INH concentrate is approved for prophylaxis as well as on-demand therapy while ecallantide and icatibant are approved for acute treatment only. Effective HAE management further includes patient education, reliable access to specific medications, and regular follow-up to monitor therapeutic response and safety. Copyright © 2014 AABB.

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