Purpose: Hereditary angioedema is a familial disease which is caused by a genetic deficiency or functional defect of the C1 inhibitor, and it features episodic swelling that can affect any part of the body. A great number of patients are estimated not to have an accurate diagnosis after the onset of symptoms, and close attention is required because sudden hereditary angioedema attacks can result in even death.
Methods: We sent an e-mail questionnaire to 975 members of the Korean Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Clinical Immunology. A total of 82 members replied. The questionnaire, including 15 questions about the diagnosis and management of hereditary angioedema, was developed by the anaphylaxis/urticaria, angioedema workgroup of the Korean Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Results: Forty-two percent of the respondents had experience with treatment of a suspected case of hereditary angioedema, and 15.9% made a confirmed diagnosis of hereditary angioedema. When the respondents suspected of cases, 91.4% of them performed tests for C3 and C4 concentrations and C1 inhibitor level. For maintenance treatment, most of the respondents used androgen, and only 22% found that C1 inhibitor concentrates can be prescribed through the Korea Orphan Drug Center in Korea.
Conclusion: Allergy physicians in Korea substantially recognized the correct diagnosis and treatment of hereditary angioedema. However, there was a lack of awareness for the latest treatments, such as C1 inhibitor concentrates. Education of doctors and the public is needed.
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