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Dermatology. 2015;230(4):324-31. doi: 10.1159/000371814. Epub 2015 Feb 20.

Distinct conditions support a novel classification for bradykinin-mediated angio-oedema.

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Department of Dermatology, Angers Hospital, L'UNAM University, Angers, France.



Angio-oedema (AO) can be attributable to bradykinin (BK) accumulation, as is the case for prototypical hereditary AO (HAO) due to C1 inhibitor (C1-INH) deficiency. However, our clinical experience in a reference centre has shown that some patients display a clinical history suggestive of HAO, but exhibit normal C1-INH function, have no mutation in the causative genes associated with HAO (SERPING1, F12), and report no intake of drugs known to promote AO.


We sought to determine the frequency and distribution of different AO subtypes suspected to be BK-mediated AO (BK-AO) and defined by clinical, history and biological criteria (enzyme activities implicated in BK formation and catabolism).


The files of all patients referred to our centre for suspected BK-AO were retrospectively analysed.


The distribution of patients (n = 162) was 16 and 4% with a hereditary deficiency of C1-INH or a gain of factor XII function, respectively, 29% with iatrogenic BK-AO, 21% with non-iatrogenic defective kininase activity and 30% with idiopathic increased kinin formation.


BK-AO may be caused by multiple inherited or acquired factors triggering BK accumulation. Therefore, we propose a novel typology for BK-AO based on the imbalance of production/catabolism of BK.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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