Inhalant abuse of computer cleaner manifested as angioedema

Am J Emerg Med. 2012 Jan;30(1):265.e3-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2010.12.003. Epub 2011 Feb 3.


Inhalant abuse is the intentional inhalation of chemical vapors or volatile substance to achieve a euphoric effect. Although no statistical data are reported yet, inhalant abuse is potentially life-threatening and has resulted in a wide range of toxic effects such as central nervous system depression, seizures, aspiration, cardiac arrhythmia, asphyxiation, hypoxia, metabolic acidosis, and sudden death among others. We are reporting a 25-year-old white man who was brought to the emergency department after inhaling aerosolized computer-cleaning spray composed of difluoroethane. He was found to have marked upper and lower lip facial swelling consistent with angioedema. The patient also had a prolonged QT interval, mild inspiratory stridor, but no urticaria. In this case, we believe the difluoroethane-related angioedema represents either idiopathic or bradykinin-induced angioedema.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angioedema / chemically induced*
  • Angioedema / physiopathology
  • Detergents / adverse effects*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Heart / drug effects
  • Heart / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Fluorinated / adverse effects*
  • Inhalant Abuse / complications*
  • Male


  • Detergents
  • Hydrocarbons, Fluorinated
  • 1,1-difluoroethane