(Angioneurotic Edema; Hereditary Angioedema)
by Krisha McCoy, MS
Angioedema is a common condition that involves swelling beneath the surface of the skin with or without redness. Angioedema can occur around the eyelids and lips, or on the face, hands, feet, or genitalia. Since this condition can cause swelling of the airways, it is important that you seek medical care if you think you have angioedema.
Angioedema is often associated with urticaria (hives). It can be caused by:
Risk Factors TOP
This condition is more common in women and people who are 30-60 years of age.
Factors that may increase your chances of developing angioedema include:
Symptoms may include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your bodily fluids and tissues may be tested. This can be done with:
Images may be taken of your abdomen. This can be done with an abdominal ultrasound.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Minor episodes of angioedema may not need treatment. However, it is important to make sure the swelling does not spread to the airway, which can be life-threatening. Treatment options include the following:
To help reduce your chances of developing this condition, avoid substances or triggers that have caused hives or angioedema in the past.
American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Canadian Dermatology Association
Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Beltrani VS. Angioedema: some "new" thoughts regarding idiopathic angioedema. In: Greaves MW, Kaplan AP, eds. Marcel Dekker. New York, NY; 2004: 421.
Lin RY, Cannon AG, et al. Pattern of hospitalizations for angioedema in New York between 1990 and 2003. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2005;95:159
Urticaria. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115276/Urticaria. Updated July 1, 2015. Accessed September 27, 2016.
Angioedema. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T566511/Angioedema. Updated May 3, 2016. Accessed September 27, 2016.
Last reviewed September 2015 by Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 8/19/2014
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