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Gastrointestinal Manifestations, Diagnosis, and Management of Hereditary Angioedema

Jalaj, Sujai MD; Scolapio, James S. MD

doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e31829e7edf

Abdominal pain is one of the most common conditions in clinical practice and yet a challenging complaint to accurately diagnose due to the vast number of possible etiologies. When other health care providers cannot identify the cause of abdominal pain, gastroenterologists are often looked upon to help solve the diagnostic dilemma. Consequently, it is incumbent upon gastroenterologists to be well versed in the diagnosis and management of not only common but also rare causes of abdominal pain. One such uncommon but well-described cause of abdominal pain is angioedema of the intestinal tract due to hereditary angioedema. Acute onset, recurrent abdominal pain of varying severity is its most common presenting symptom, and misdiagnosis can not only lead to unnecessary surgical procedures but also death. The purpose of this review is to raise awareness among gastroenterologists about hereditary angioedema as a potential cause of recurrent, unexplained abdominal pain.

Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Florida, Jacksonville, FL

The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.

Reprints: James S. Scolapio, MD, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Florida, 4555 Emerson Street, Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32207 (e-mail:

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins