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Welcome to our angiooedema website

"Angioedema" is the medical term for a sudden swelling of the skin or mucous membranes. It is by no means rare. In fact, it is estimated that as many as 20-25% of men and women will experience it at some point in their lives. In most cases, angioedema are related in some way to an allergic reaction and are caused by the action of the mediator substance of allergies, histamine.

There are, however, other types of swellings of the skin and mucous membranes that are not allergy-related and not mediated by histamine. These kinds of angioedema are much rarer and patients may suffer from them for many years before their true cause is recognised.

Not knowing why these swellings occur can be a great burden for patients affected by them. Just as importantly, angioedema can severely limit quality of life and, in certain circumstances, can be life-threatening: swelling in the mouth and throat may compromise the airway and place patients in danger of asphyxiation (suffocation). In order to be able to respond rapidly and effectively in an emergency, it is crucial that the underlying cause of a patient’s swelling be discovered as early as possible. The purpose of this Website is to provide you with comprehensive information about angioedema. Here, you can learn about the development, diagnosis and treatment of non histamine-mediated swellings of the skin and mucous membranes, and you will find many tips for dealing with this disorder in daily life. Patients with allergy-related, histamine-mediated angioedema find more information on this group of disorders at www.urtikaria.net. Our number one objective is to promote the early recognition of the causes of angioedema so that patients, together with their families and friends, can

  • deal more effectively and rationally with this of disorder
  • profit more fully from treatment and prevention measures
  • lead a life as normal as possible

The first step is to determine whether your angioedema is

  • allergy-related, i.e. mediated by histamine;  or
  • a non histamine-mediated type of angioedema

To help you get started, we have developed an angiooedema self-test. We hope that you will find this test to be usefull and that this website helps you to answer your question. At this time, we would like to thank all the patients who have helped us with their comments to improve it. If you have comments or questions, please contact us.

Prof. Dr. Markus Magerl
Prof. Dr. Marcus Maurer