Introduction: Hereditary angioedema (HAE) usually results from C1 inhibitor (C1-INH) deficiency or dysfunction. It is a rare autosomal dominant disorder characterized by localized, non-pitting edema of the skin and submucosal tissues of the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, without significant wheals or pruritus, due to a temporary increase in vascular permeability. Other forms of HAE have been described, but therapies are approved only for HAE with C1-INH deficiency: hence, this review focuses on C1-INH-HAE.
Areas covered: The aim of this review article is to present current available therapies for treatment of acute attacks as well as for short- and long-term prophylaxis of hereditary angioedema due to C1 inhibitor deficiency (C1-INH-HAE). The Authors highlight also critical issues on the management of C1-INH-HAE, which is continuously evolving thanks to evidence from clinical trials, post-marketing experience and ongoing studies.
Expert opinion: In the last decade, the quality of life of C1-INH-HAE patients has significantly improved due to increased knowledge and awareness of the disease, improved patient support and major progress in pharmacotherapy. Ongoing research will probably provide patients with other new effective therapeutic agents in the near future.
Keywords: C1 inhibitor; angioedema; bradykinin; ecallantide; icatibant; kallikrein.