Greetings from the Head of the Center

Takahiko Horiuchi

The Center for Research, Education, and Treatment of Angioedema was established in January 2011.  The Center’s goals are to ascertain the realities of angioedema and to use what is learned to benefit society.  The rationale behind the Center’s establishment is a serious one since there is little awareness of angioedema in Japan and unfortunately many patients with the condition have not received a correct diagnosis or treatment.

A symptom of angioedema is swelling that develops suddenly (episodically) in parts of the body over a period of several days.  In some instances, these episodes recur.  This edema of sudden onset is labeled Quincke's edema, and it is often untreated since it is “edema of unknown origin that nonetheless has a good prognosis.”  In fact, there are various causes of edema of sudden onset, and some of those causes can conceal a condition known as hereditary angioedema (HAE), which can endanger an individual’s life if overlooked.  If HAE is actually diagnosed, then patients can receive effective treatment.

The Center for Research, Education, and Treatment of Angioedema performs the blood tests and genetic analysis required to differentially diagnose angioedema.  The Center is also working to create a Japanese database of HAE and a database of other forms of angioedema based on the results of analyses performed by the Center.  Use of this database will allow: 1) accurate diagnosis and treatment of angioedema, 2) provision of accurate information to society as a whole, and 3) coordination among patients and doctors and other medical personnel.  We at the Center will strive to see that patients with angioedema, including HAE, receive better medical care.

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