Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Angioedema Hereditary Evaluation

The evaluation of hereditary angioedema begins with a history and physical examination.

Physical findings in someone with hereditary angioedema may include:

Testing may be necessary to determine the underlying cause of angioedema.

Tests that may be used to evaluate hereditary angioedema include:
  • Complete blood count
  • C1 esterase blood level:
    • An important test for anyone who may have hereditary angioedema. Low levels of this enzyme will confirm this diagnosis.
  • Allergy testing may include one or more of the following:
    • Aquagenic: a test used to detect water-induced urticaria.
    • Delayed Pressure: this test involves the placement of a 5 to 10 pound object on the skin for 10 to 15 minutes and then observing the skin's reaction for the next three hours.
    • Dermatographism: a test involving the skin's reaction upon being scratched by a tongue blade; the course of the tongue blade is seen in a welt-like pattern on the skin
    • Ice-Cube Test: touching ice to the skin can trigger cold-induced urticaria in some individuals.
    • Methacholine Test: this is a test that is used to identify cholinergic or exercise-induced urticaria.
    • Skin testing: the most common test where small amounts of allergens are placed into the skin.

Continue to Angioedema Hereditary Treatment

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Angioedema Hereditary References
  1. Davis AE 3rd. The pathophysiology of hereditary angioedema. Clin Immunol. 2005 Jan;114(1):3-9. [1559640]
  2. Nzeako UC, Frigas E, Tremaine WJ. Hereditary angioedema: a broad review for clinicians. Arch Intern Med. 2001 Nov 12;161(20):2417-29. [11700154]
  3. Zuraw BL. Current and future therapy for hereditary angioedema. Clin Immunol. 2005 Jan;114(1):10-6. [15596404]
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