What is Hereditary Angioedema – HAE?
HAE is an inherited condition. If a parent has HAE, there is a 50 % chance they will pass it on to their children. Family members who have been tested and who do not have HAE will not pass the disease on to their children.
HAE can also occur with no family history as a spontaneous gene mutation.
HAE is characterised by huge swelling of the tissues (angioedema) which last from 3 to 5 days. These swellings can occur on any part of the body; hands and feet, arms and legs, trunk, intestines, genital organs, face, tongue, neck and airway.
An example of Hand swelling
An example of gastrointestinal swelling
An example of facial swelling
An Example of throat swelling
HAE attacks can start at any time from early childhood, in adolescence or later in life.
The frequency of attacks can vary from once or twice a year to every few days in the most severely affected patients.
Intestinal swelling causes sickness and diarrhea and very severe pain.
Swelling of the face and tongue can lead to swelling of the airway which is life threatening.