European Journal of Dermatology

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 293–296 | Cite as

Recurrent angioedema: diagnosis strategy and biological aspects

  • Laurence Bouillet
  • Isabelle Boccon-Gibod
  • Frédéric Berard
  • Jean-François Nicolas
Review article


The aetiologies of recurrent angioedema (AE) comprise the frequent histaminergic AE and the rare bradykinin-mediated AE. Diagnosis must be done carefully because they do not have the same treatment. Diagnosis strategy is clinical. The most specific symptoms for bradykinin AE are: isolated AE without wheals, long duration of the attack, abdominal localisation. The unique useful biological tests for the diagnosis of bradykinin AE are C1Inh exploration which is altered in hereditary AE (HAE) types I and II. No other biological test is useful in clinical practice at present. In case of suspicion of bradykinin AE with normal C1Inh, physicians must think of drug-induced AE. Hereditary AE with normal C1Inh may be associated with a mutation on gene F12 in 20% of cases. For 80% of patients without mutation, the diagnosis must be done very carefully.


angioedema urticaria histamine bradykinin C1Inh diagnosis 


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Copyright information

© John Libbey Eurotext 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurence Bouillet
    • 1
    • 2
  • Isabelle Boccon-Gibod
    • 1
  • Frédéric Berard
    • 3
  • Jean-François Nicolas
    • 3
  1. 1.National Reference Centre for Angioedema (CREAK), Internal medicine departmentGrenoble University HospitalGrenoble cedex 09France
  2. 2.Unité Inserm 1036, CEAUniversité de médecine Joseph-FourierGrenobleFrance
  3. 3.Immunology and Allergy Clinic, Inserm U1111-CIRIUniversité Lyon1Pierre-BéniteFrance

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