Background: Angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) are one of the most prescribed medications worldwide. Angioedema is a well-recognized adverse effect of this class of medications, with a reported incidence of ACEI angioedema of up to 1.0%. Of importance to note, ACEI angioedema is a class effect and is not dose dependent. The primary goal of this literature search was to determine the appropriate Emergency Department management of patients with ACEI angioedema.
Methods: A MEDLINE literature search from January 1990 to August 2012 and limited to human studies written in English for articles with keywords of ACEI angioedema. Guideline statements and non-systematic reviews were excluded. Studies identified then underwent a structured review from which results could be evaluated.
Results: Five hundred sixty-two papers on ACEI angioedema were screened and 27 appropriate articles were rigorously reviewed in detail and recommendations given.
Conclusion: The literature search did not support any specific treatment protocol with a high level of evidence due to the limited--and limitations of the--available studies.
Keywords: ACE inhibitors; angioedema; angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors.
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