Recent developments in the treatment of acute abdominal and facial attacks of hereditary angioedema: focus on human C1 esterase inhibitor
Lourdes Pastó Cardona1 Ramon Lleonart Bellfill2 Joaquim Marcoval Caus3
1Pharmacy Service, 2Allergy Unit, Internal Medicine Service, 3Dermatology Service, Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
Abstract: Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a potentially fatal genetic disorder typified by a deficiency (type I) or dysfunction (type II) of the C1-inhibitor (C1-INH) and characterized by swelling of the extremities, face, trunk, abdominal viscera, and upper airway. Type III is normal estrogen-sensitive C1-INH HAE. Bradykinin, the main mediator of HAE, binds to endothelial B2 receptors, increasing vascular permeability and resulting in edema. HAE management includes short- and long-term prophylaxis. For treating acute episodes, C1-INH concentrate is recommended with regression of symptoms achieved in 30–90 min. Infusions of 500–1000 U have been used in Europe for years. Two plasma-derived C1-INH concentrates have been licensed recently in the United States: Berinert® for treating acute attacks and Cinryze® for prophylaxis in adolescent/adult patients. A recombinant C1-INH that is being considered for approval (conestat alfa) exhibited significant superiority versus placebo. Ecallantide (Kalbitor®) is a selective kallikrein inhibitor recently licensed in the United States for treating acute attacks in patients aged >16 years. It is administered in three 10-mg subcutaneous injections with the risk of anaphylactic reactions. Icatibant (Firazyr®) is a bradykinin B2 receptor competitor. It is administered subcutaneously as a 30-mg injection and approved in Europe but not in the United States.
Keywords: hereditary angioedema, C1 esterase inhibitor, acute attacks
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