Hungarian Radiology

[Significance of ultrasound examination in acute abdominal attack of hereditary angioneurotic oedema]

FARKAS Henriette és munkatársai

DECEMBER 20, 2002

Hungarian Radiology - 2002;76(06)

[INTRODUCTION - Hereditary angioneurotic oedema (HANO) is a rare cause of ascites. As acute abdominal attacks of the disease can mimic surgical emergencies, the prompt and accurate diagnosis is essential. This study was undertaken to evaluate the usefulness of abdominal ultrasound examinations in the differential diagnosis. PATIENTS AND METHODS - Seventy patients with HANO were followed up for almost a decade. All patients presenting with an acute oedematous attack underwent abdominal ultrasound, which was then repeated 24 and 48 hours after appropriate therapy. RESULTS - 22 patients with acute oedematous attacks with abdominal complaints severe enough to justify hospital admission occurred in the study population. Abdominal ultrasound performed during the attack showed oedematous thickening of the intestinal wall in 80 per cent of cases and invariably demonstrated the presence of free peritoneal fluid in all patients. Rapid symptomatic relief achieved by treatment was accompanied by the significant regression of ultrasound abnormalities. CONCLUSIONS - Demonstration of transitory ascites by abdominal ultrasound is a clue to the diagnosis of an acute abdominal attack of HANO. The possibility of HANO should always be considered whenever unexplained abdominal pain returns with or without ascites.]

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