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Allergy Asthma Proc. 2007 Jan-Feb;28(1):93-6.

C1-esterase inhibitor autoantibodies in a patient with acute tongue swelling.

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David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA.


Angioedema occurs when there is fluid leakage into the deep dermis of the skin and underlying subcutaneous tissues. Affected individuals usually present with swelling of the face or extremities. Acquired angioedema is an uncommon but potentially life-threatening disease in the older adult population. After the individual is cleared of the initial danger period, a thorough workup for an underlying etiology must be done. We report a 62-year-old male presenting with significant tongue swelling who was diagnosed with acquired angioedema. He had autoantibodies to C1 esterase inhibitor and was subsequently diagnosed with a lymphoma. Angioedema should be recognized by clinicians as a potential presentation of a more ominous malignancy.

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