Resources for Diagnosing and Treating Hereditary Angioedema (HAE)

ACEP is a partner of “HAE: Learn About It, Talk About It,” a clinician education program supported by Shire aimed at educating and increasing awareness about hereditary angioedema (HAE) among various specialists that see patients with HAE to help advance patient care.

HAE is a rare and potentially life-threatening disorder characterized by sudden, severe and sometimes painful swelling episodes that can affect any part of the body.1 Because HAE symptoms can mimic other emergencies, including appendicitis or an allergic reaction, the average patient can endure approximately a decade of repeated misdiagnoses before HAE is identified.1,2

As the first line of contact with undiagnosed and diagnosed HAE patients, in many cases, emergency physicians and physicians’ assistants can play a role in improving care for patients by quickly recognizing HAE symptoms, understanding disease management paradigms, and referring patients to an HAE- treating physician for appropriate management.

1. Zuraw BL. Hereditary Angioedema. N Engl J Med. 2008; 359(10): 1027-36.

2. Lunn ML, Santos CB, Craig TJ. Is there a need for clinical guidelines in the United States for the diagnosis of hereditary angioedema and the screening of family members of affected patients? Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2010; 104:211-214.

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