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Angioedema is an acute, life-threatening allergic reaction, manifested by the sudden appearance of extensive swelling of the skin, subcutaneous tissue, fascia, muscles. This condition can develop at any age. About 10% of people at least once in your life suffered a similar condition.

Causes of angioedema

At the heart of angioedema is of immediate type allergic reaction. Tissue swelling associated with the increased vascular permeability induced by the release of mediators (histamine, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, cytokines, etc.) from sensitized mast cells, basophils, when exposed to an allergen. As such an allergen may act foods (peanuts, chocolate, milk, exotic fruit, etc.), pollen or dust inhaled allergens and pharmaceuticals. In addition, the cause of angioedema may be the impact of different physical factors, such as cold, bright sunshine, and others

The symptoms of angioedema

Angioedema is usually found in areas with loose fiber - the lips, eyelids, cheeks, mucous membranes of the mouth, scrotum. It has a dense (the surface of the skin is not pressed when you click on it) character due to the high content of protein in the edema fluid.

Having held several hours to 2-3 days, then the swelling goes without a trace. Especially dangerous is the angioedema of the larynx (occurs in 30% of cases of angioedema). In this first noted hoarseness, "barking" cough, shortness of breath and then increases with shortness of breath. The complexion becomes bluish tint, then quickly fades. In the absence of a rational therapy, patients may die from suffocation.


The diagnosis is made on the clinical picture. This state requires mandatory hospitalization and adequate treatment in the hospital.

What you can do (first aid for angioedema)

At the slightest suspicion on the development of angioedema, you should immediately call an ambulance. The situation can change in a matter of seconds with the slightest delay is dangerous for the patient's life. Next, you need to remove the allergen that caused such a reaction, help the victim to take a comfortable position and give antihistamines.

What can a doctor

Depending on the location of edema actions of the doctor will be different. In any case requires administering potent antiallergic drugs. A patient with edema of the larynx is in urgent need of hospitalization in the intensive care unit or intensive care unit.


Angioedema usually occurs suddenly and prevent its development is not possible. If you have ever been a case like an allergic reaction, you should avoid contact with the allergen that caused it. Patients who had previously undergone angioedema, have to have a card stating their allergen. If the allergen served as a drug, do not forget to report it on subsequent calls to the doctor.