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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2004 Mar;92(3):377-8.

Oxandrolone treatment of childhood hereditary angioedema.

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Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, Department of Pediatrics, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and Keck of School of Medicine, The University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90027, USA.



The virilizing effects of danazol, stanozolol, and methyltestosterone significantly restrict the usefulness of these agents in the treatment of children with hereditary angioedema (HAE). Oxandrolone is a synthetic anabolic steroid with limited virilizing effects that has been used in a variety of pediatric conditions and has an acceptable safety profile.


To report the effective use of oxandrolone in a 6-year-old boy with recurrent, life-threatening episodes of angioedema.


Oxandrolone was administered at a dose of 0.1 mg/kg per day. Symptoms and laboratory findings were evaluated by parental report and laboratory analysis of serum C1 esterase inhibitor and C4 levels, respectively.


Oxandrolone therapy resulted in a marked reduction in clinical episodes and normalization of serum complement levels; cessation of oxandrolone therapy resulted in recurrence of symptoms and decreased complement levels. However, early signs of virilization were noted.


Oxandrolone treatment was associated with significant clinical and laboratory evidence of a therapeutic effect in a prepuberal boy with HAE. It is imperative to treat HAE with the lowest dose of oxandrolone that controls life-threatening episodes of angioedema.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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