Isolated uvular angioedema: Quincke’s disease
© Springer-Verlag London Ltd 2010
Received: 9 June 2009
Accepted: 31 May 2010
Published: 20 August 2010
Isolated uvular angioedema was first defined by Quincke in 1882 . Isolated uvular angioedema, or Quincke's disease, is a relatively rare presentation of angioedema of the upper airway . Several causes of uvular edema have been described, including hereditary angioedema, trauma, inhalation exposure, medication reactions and infectious causes [3, 4]. Isolated uvular angioedema is usually caused by a type I hypersensitivity reaction [2, 3]. This should be differentiated from uvulitis, which is infectious and frequently has concomitant epiglottitis. Direct visualization or a lateral neck plain radiograph should be considered to help rule out epiglottitis [3, 5]. In this situation, the primary strategy should invovle maintaining the airway. In spite of being a rare condition, uvular edema may cause obstructive respiratory distress and require immediate airway care. The general treatment strategies in the emergency department consist of intravenous H1 and H2 histamine blockers, corticosteroids and infrequently epinephrine . Dexamethasone has been considered the medication of choice considering its potent anti-inflammatory properties and long half-life.
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