Hereditary Angioedema: Implications of Management

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Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a genetic condition that is characterized by frequent episodes of localized angioedema. It is a rare disorder that a primary care provider, otolaryngologist, dermatologist, or rheumatologist may encounter only occasionally. This disease is being reviewed because of the significant advances in further understanding the genetics, biology, and therapeutic management surrounding the condition. Histamine-mediated angioedema responds to steroids, antihistamines, and epinephrine, whereas bradykinin-mediated angioedema is resistant to those interventions and requires specialized therapy. Previously used medications have significant adverse effects. Approved medications for HAE have been effective in decreasing morbidity and mortality in patients with this condition. We review the presentation, diagnosis, and available pharmaceutical options for HAE and explore the limitations of implementing recommended therapy.

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