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Open Access Research article

Abdominal attacks and treatment in hereditary angioedema with C1-inhibitor deficiency

Eitan Rubinstein1*, Leslie E Stolz2, Albert L Sheffer3, Chris Stevens2 and Athos Bousvaros1

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Boston Children’s Hospital, 300 Longwood Ave, Fegan 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02115, USA

2 Dyax Corp, Burlington, MA, USA

3 Department of Allergy and Immunology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

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BMC Gastroenterology 2014, 14:71  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-14-71

Published: 9 April 2014

Abstract

Background

Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is characterized by unpredictable attacks of debilitating subcutaneous and mucosal edema. Gastrointestinal attacks are painful, of sudden onset and often mistaken for acute abdomen leading to unnecessary surgery. The purpose of this study was to analyze symptom presentation of gastrointestinal angioedema in pediatric and adult HAE patients.

Methods

Information collected during the clinical development of ecallantide for treatment of acute HAE attacks included affected anatomic location, accompanying symptoms, medical history, and pain assessments. Efficacy endpoints included Treatment Outcome Score (TOS, maximum score = 100; minimally important difference = 30), a point-in-time measure of treatment response, and time to treatment response.

Results

Forty-nine percent of 521 HAE attacks only involved abdominal symptoms. The most commonly reported abdominal symptoms were distension (77%), cramping (73%) and nausea (67%). The most common pain descriptors were tender, tiring-exhausting, aching, cramping and sickening. White blood cell counts were elevated (>10 × 109/L) in 23% of attacks (mean ± SD: 15.1 ± 11.27 × 109/L). A high proportion of patients reported a history of abdominal surgery, including appendectomy (23%), cholecystectomy (16.4%), and hysterectomy (8.2%). Mean TOS at 4 hours post ecallantide was 77±33 versus 29±65 for placebo. Median time to significant symptom resolution was 165 minutes (95% CI 136, 167) for ecallantide versus >4 hours (95% CI 161, >4 hours) for placebo. Anaphylactic reactions occurred in 6 of the 149 treated patients.

Conclusions

HAE should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with recurrent discrete episodes of severe, unexplained crampy abdominal pain associated with nausea.

Trials registration

The data used in the analysis were gathered across multiple clinical trials conducted during the clinical development program for ecallantide. All of the studies were conducted using Good Clinical Practices (GCP) and in accordance with the ethical principles that have their origins in the Declaration of Helsinki. Each site that participated in the clinical trials obtained the appropriate IRB or Ethics Committee approval prior to enrolling any patients. All patients provided written informed consent prior to undergoing any study-related procedures. Pediatric patients provided written assent and their parents or guardians gave written informed consent.

The following trials have been registered at http://www.clinicaltrials.gov webcite: EDEMA2 (identifier NCT01826916); EDEMA3 (identifier NCT00262080); EDEMA4 (identifier NCT00457015); and DX-88/19 (identifier NCT00456508).

Keywords:
Hereditary angioedema; Gastrointestinal angioedema; Ecallantide