Hereditary Angioedema in Pregnancy
Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare but serious disease that is inherited. Due to a congenital genetic defect, the C1-esterase inhibitor is only partially effective in HAE patients. This leads to an increased permeability of the blood vessels and, as a result, to mostly unpredictable
This leads to increased permeability of the blood vessels and, as a result, to mostly unpredictable, spontaneously occurring swelling of the hands, feet or face, colicky abdominal pain, often accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea, or shortness of breath if the swelling affects the throat.
Hormonal influences can affect the course of the disease. For example, estrogen-containing contraceptives are contraindicated for HAE patients because they regularly lead to a worsening of the clinical picture. The hormonal influences of pregnancy also change the disease activity in most cases, so that an adjustment of the previous HAE therapy is often necessary. The nature and extent of the changes as well as their timeline (before/during/after pregnancy) are contradictory in the literature. Real-life data on treatment/adjustment during pregnancy are only sparsely available, as well.