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Current options for prophylactic treatment of hereditary angioedema in the United States: patient-based considerations

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Hereditary angioedema (HAE) results from mutations in the C1-esterase inhibitor (C1 INH) gene that decrease production of C1 INH or render it dysfunctional. HAE is characterized by recurrent, unpredictable, bradykinin-mediated edema of the extremities, face, genitalia, trunk, gastrointestinal tract, or upper airway. Attacks causing laryngeal edema can be fatal. Patients with HAE need medications for acute attacks; some also require prophylaxis. Management requires consideration of the patient's disease burden and effect on the patient's quality of life. This review examines an individualized approach to identifying HAE patients who may benefit from prophylaxis. A literature search was performed for HAE and prophylaxis. HAE guidelines, case reports, safety studies, and randomized, controlled clinical prophylaxis trials were selected. Authors provided cases demonstrating individualized prophylaxis. U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved options for prophylaxis of HAE include attenuated androgens and nanofiltered C1 INH (C1 INH-nf). In other countries, pasteurized C1 INH and purified C1 INH are also available. Alternative therapies include fresh frozen plasma for preprocedural prophylaxis and antifibrinolytics for long-term prophylaxis. Attenuated androgens reduce attack frequency in many patients. Adverse effects include weight gain, virilization, increased hair growth, hypercholesterolemia, depression, and liver adenomas. C1 INH-nf reduces frequency of attacks and is well tolerated. Each patient with HAE has unique needs, based on the nature and frequency of past attacks, proximity to a medical center, occupation, and the patient's wishes. These factors should be used to create a patient-centered approach to management of HAE.
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Keywords: C1-esterase inhibitor; Hereditary angioedema; attenuated androgen; bradykinin; laryngeal edema; nanofiltered C1-inhibitor; pasteurized C1-inhibitor; prophylaxis; purified C1-inhibitor; quality of life

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 May 2012

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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