Excellence in Angioedema Care
UC San Diego Health operates a comprehensive angioedema program and is at the forefront of angioedema research. Staffed by world-class physicians and researchers, we are committed to improving the future of people living with acute and chronic swelling caused by angioedema.
Angioedema care at UC San Diego Health provides:
- A broad range of highly personalized services for angioedema patients
- The latest and most advanced therapies and treatments
- Innovative options in angioedema diagnosis and management
- Expert consultation services for physicians
- Clinical trials and groundbreaking basic and translational research
- Consultations on both U.S. and international angioedema cases
What is Angioedema?
Angioedema is swelling that occurs within the skin. While angioedema often involves the face and lips, it can potentially affect any region of the body. Angioedema can also occur in mucous membranes such as the mouth, throat and less commonly, the intestines.
Potential causes of angioedema include:
- Allergic reactions
- Medication side effects
- Genetic (hereditary) conditions
In rare instances, angioedema may be associated with an autoimmune disease, infection or specific type of malignancy. However, angioedema often occurs spontaneously without any identifiable underlying medical problem.
The focus of angioedema management is to safely suppress the symptoms.
What Causes It?
While there are several types of angioedema, they are usually a result of one of the following factors:
- Histamine-release due to allergies, infections, autoimmune conditions or mast cell activation from undetermined causes.
- Excessive bradykinin production in the skin (usually caused by either a genetic protein deficiency or as a side effect of medication). Bradykinin is a peptide (chemical compound) that causes blood vessels to dilate, leading to a decline in blood pressure.
Types of Angioedema
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Our experts develop personalized treatment plans for individuals with all types of angioedema.
- Comprehensive diagnostic testing as indicated
- Tailored medication plan
- Recommended lifestyle modifications