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Defining Angioedema: Getting Detailed

By Jerry Knight

Angioedema is an allergy related dermis sickness. It is one of many allergic conditions that can be triggered by verious allergens. Some allergic conditions are more serious than others. This allergen triggered sickness is identified by areas of swelling on the dermis and its subcutaneous layers. It also includes the mucous membranes and sometimes the viscera. Swelling associated with angioedema is typically rapid. It is quite similar to urticaria (commonly referred to as hives), but urticaria is exclusive to the upper dermis.

Angioedema was, initially, identified as a nervous system disease, but experts no longer believe that there is nervous system includement in angioedema. It can often be an emergency situation due to the fact tht the swelling can cause airway obstruction and/or suffocation.

Emergency action for relief of the rapid swelling of angioedema can often include the use of epinephrine when the angioedema is allergen triggered. When angioedema is classified instead as a hereditary case epinephrine is not helpful.

Swelling can happen in a matter of a couple minutes or it can happen over a longer time period (many hours). Most typical locations for swelling is: skin or dermis of the face (around the mouth), the mucosa of the mouth or throat or both, the tongue, and the hands. Swollen areas can be painful and itchy.

Angioedema has many names:

1. angioneurotic edema

2. giant urticaria

3. Quincke’s disease

4. Quincke’s edema

Compression of the nerves in the areas affected by angioedema (swollen areas) may cause decreased sensation. Urticaria or hives can also sometimes develop in the areas affected by the condition. In some cases the exposure to the allergen is easily and correctly identified. But in many cases the allergen is unidentifiable or unknown or unavoidable.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Knight, Jerry "Defining Angioedema: Getting Detailed." Defining Angioedema: Getting Detailed. 5 Oct. 2010. 6 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Knight, J (2010, October 5). Defining Angioedema: Getting Detailed. Retrieved September 6, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Knight, Jerry "Defining Angioedema: Getting Detailed"

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