Efficacy and Safety of Rituximab-Based Treatments in Angioedema With Acquired C1-Inhibitor Deficiency

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2024 Jan;12(1):212-222. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2023.10.017. Epub 2023 Oct 14.


Background: Angioedema (AE) due to acquired C1-inhibitor (C1-INH) deficiency (AAE-C1-INH) is related to excessive consumption of C1-INH or to anti-C1-INH antibodies, and is frequently associated with lymphoproliferative syndromes or monoclonal gammopathies. Standard of care for prophylactic treatment in this condition is not established. Rituximab may be effective to prevent attacks, especially if the lymphoid hemopathy is controlled, but data are scarce.

Objective: To evaluate efficacy of rituximab in AAE-C1-INH.

Methods: A retrospective multicenter study was carried out in France, including patients with AAE-C1-INH treated with rituximab between April 2005 and July 2019.

Results: Fifty-five patients with AAE-C1-INH were included in the study, and 23 of them had an anti-C1-INH antibody. A lymphoid malignancy was identified in 39 patients, and a monoclonal gammopathy in 9. There was no associated condition in 7 cases. Thirty patients received rituximab alone or in association with chemotherapy (n = 25). Among 51 patients with available follow-up, 34 patients were in clinical remission and 17 patients had active AE after a median follow-up of 3.9 years (interquartile range, 1.5-7.7). Three patients died. The presence of anti-C1-INH antibodies was associated with a lower probability of AE remission (hazard ratio, 0.29 [95% CI, 0.12-0.67]; P = .004). Relapse was less frequent in patients with lymphoma (risk ratio, 0.27 [95% CI, 0.09-0.80]; P = .019) and in patients treated with rituximab and chemotherapy (risk ratio, 0.31 [95% CI, 0.12-0.79]; P = .014).

Conclusions: Rituximab is an efficient and well-tolerated therapeutic option in AE, especially in lymphoid malignancies and in the absence of detectable anti-C1-INH antibodies.

Keywords: Acquired C1-inhibitor deficiency; Acquired angioedema; Monoclonal gammopathy; Rituximab; Splenic marginal zone lymphoma.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Angioedema* / drug therapy
  • Angioedemas, Hereditary* / drug therapy
  • Complement C1 Inhibitor Protein / genetics
  • France
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rituximab / therapeutic use


  • Complement C1 Inhibitor Protein
  • Rituximab