National survey on clinical and genetic characteristics of patients with hereditary angioedema in Latvia

Adine Kanepa (Coresponding Author), Inga Nartisa, Dmitrijs Rots, Linda Gailite, Henriette Farkas, Natalja Kurjane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare and life-threatening inborn error of immunity. HAE is mostly caused by pathogenic variations in the serine protease inhibitor gene 1 (SERPING1), leading to deficient or dysfunctional C1-inhibitor (C1-INH), overproduction of bradykinin, and development of recurrent subcutaneous and/or submucosal oedema. The prevalence of HAE is 1 in 50,000 − 100000 people worldwide. We aimed to describe the clinical features and genetic spectrum of hereditary angioedema with C1-INH deficiency (C1-INH-HAE) in Latvia. Methods: All patients from Latvia diagnosed with HAE (types I/II) from 2006 to March 2022 were included in the study. Laboratory tests and clinical data were analysed, and genetic tests with Sanger sequencing and whole genome sequencing were performed. Results: The study identified 10 C1-INH-HAE patients (nine females, one male) from eight families. The point prevalence of HAE in Latvia is 0.53 per 100 000 inhabitants. Of all patients, seven (70%) had HAE type I and three (30%) had HAE type II. The median age of patients was 54 years and the median age at onset of symptoms was 15 years. A significant delay (median 20.5 years) until diagnosis was observed, and 60% of patients had a positive family history of angioedema. All HAE patients have been hospitalised a median two times during their lifetime. Skin (100%), abdominal (80%), and airway (80%) oedema were the most frequent symptoms. Triggering factors (60%) and prodromal symptoms (90%) were referred. Attacks were severe in 50% of patients, moderate in 10%, and mild in 40%. Pathogenic variations of SERPING1 were identified in eight patients (six families), confirming the diagnosis molecularly. In two patients (two families), no pathogenic variations in the genes were found even after whole genome sequencing. Conclusions: Current data shows a significant delay and clear underdiagnosis of HAE in Latvia. Higher awareness and better information and communication between doctors would improve the diagnosis and management of HAE; as would screening of family members, patients with recurrent angioedema unresponsive to antihistamines and glucocorticoids, and patients with recurrent episodes of severe, unexplained abdominal pain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
JournalAllergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2023


  • C1-inhibitor deficiency
  • Hereditary angioedema
  • SERPING1 gene

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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