Background: No published data presently exist concerning hereditary angioedema (HAE) in Turkey. The aim of the study was to initiate a preliminary multicentric evaluation about HAE and to determine the genetic properties of Turkish patients. Methods: Based on records drawn from four medical centers we identified a total of 70 subjects, belonging to 60 unrelated families, fulfilling clinical and laboratory criteria for diagnosis of HAE with C1 inhibitor deficiency. Ten type I patients, and their first-degree relatives, underwent genetic analysis for HAE. Results: The majority of patients were female (60%), the mean age was 37.7 ± 14.1 years. The mean age at the time of first angioedema symptom was 12.5 ± 9.2 years. Mean time lag between first symptom and diagnosis was 26 ± 14.4 years. All but 3 subjects had HAE type I. Family history of angioedema was present in 75.7% of the cases. Cutaneous swelling was reported by 87.1% of the patients, facial edema by 65%, abdominal symptoms by 74.3% and approximately one half (55.7%) had experienced one or more laryngeal attack. Genetic analysis of 10 families demonstrated that 5 carried a mutation that had never been previously described. Conclusion: We found that the clinical features of Turkish HAE patients were consistent with previously described patterns of this rare disease. The most noteworthy feature identified in the study was a significantly long duration between the first symptom appearance and final diagnosis. Our detection of different mutations in 10 patients confirms the allelic heterogeneity of the disease.

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