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Hereditary angioedema (HAE): a cause for recurrent abdominal pain
  1. Parita Soni1,
  2. Vivek Kumar1,
  3. Samson Alliu1,
  4. Vijay Shetty2
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA
  2. 2Department of Cardiology, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Parita Soni, sonipss14{at}


A 44-year-old Hispanic woman presented to the emergency room with a 2-day history of sudden onset of severe cramping left lower quadrant abdominal pain associated with ∼20 episodes diarrhoea. Abdominal CT scan exhibited bowel wall oedema and acute extensive colitis. On the basis of the preliminary diagnosis of acute abdomen, the patient was admitted under the surgical team and treated for acute colitis. Since her family history was significant for hereditary angioedema (HAE), complement studies were performed which revealed low complement C4 levels and abnormally low values of C1q esterase inhibitor. Thus, the diagnosis of HAE type I was established. This case report summarises that the symptoms of HAE are often non-specific, hence making the underlying cause difficult to diagnose.

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  • Contributors PS contributed to conception and design of the manuscript, drafting, critical revision and copy-editing of the manuscript. VK involved in the critical revision and copy-editing of the manuscript. SA contributed to drafting and critical revision of the manuscript. VS contributed to critical revision of the manuscript. The manuscript is an original work of all authors. All the authors have read and approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.