Engelter ST, Fluri F, Buitrago-Téllez C, Marsch S, Steck AJ, Rüegg S, Lyrer PA
Orolingual angioedema can occur during thrombolysis with alteplase in stroke patients. However, data about its frequency, severity and the significance of concurrent use of angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) are sparse.
(1), to alert to the potentially life-threatening complication of orolingual angioedema. (2), to present CT-scans of the tongue which exclude lingual hematoma. (3), to estimate the frequency of orolingual angioedema. (4), to evaluate the risk associated with the concurrent use of ACEi.
Single center, databank-based observational study on 120 consecutive patients with i. v. alteplase for acute stroke. Meta-analysis of all stroke studies on alteplase-associated angioedema, which provided detailed information about the use of ACE-inhibitors. Across studies, the Peto odds ratio of orolingual angioedema for "concurrent use of ACEi" was calculated.
Orolingual angioedema occurred in 2 of 120 patients (1.7%, 95% CI 0.2-5.9 %). Angioedema was mild in one, but rapidly progressive in another patient. Impending asphyxia prompted immediate intubation. CT showed orolingual swelling but no bleeding. One of 19 (5%) patients taking ACEi had orolingual angioedema, compared to 1 of 101 (1%) patients without ACEi. Medline search identified one further study about the occurrence of alteplase-associated angioedema in stroke patients stratified to the use of ACEi. Peto odds ratio of 37 (95 % CI 8-171) indicated an increased risk of alteplasetriggered angioedema for patients with ACEi (p<0.001).
Orolingual angioedema is a potentially life-threatening complication of alteplase treatment in stroke patients, especially in those with ACEi. Orolingual hematoma as differential diagnosis can be excluded by CT-scan.
Neurological Clinic and Stroke Unit, University Hospital Basel, Petersgraben 4, 4031 Basel, Switzerland. email@example.com