32: Angioedema



This is a potentially lethal condition. Angioedema manifests with rapid development of oedematous swelling of the lip(s), tongue and oral or facial swelling (Fig. 32.1). This can be life-threatening as oedema may also involve the neck and hazard the airway. The swelling in angioedema is usually relatively transient and the skin does not scale.

Angioedema is usually allergic (a type 1 hypersensitivity response seen mainly in those with an atopic tendency) but can rarely be drug-induced, hereditary (hereditary angio-neurotic oedema or HANE; caused by a deficiency of the complement component C1 esterase inhibitor – C1-INH) or C1-INH deficiency can be acquired.

All types of angioedema may be aggravated by the oral contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy.



Allergic angioedema is common – far more common than HANE.

Jan 9, 2015 | Posted by in Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology | Comments Off on 32: Angioedema
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