Development of the Hereditary Angioedema Rapid Triage Tool Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Patients with hereditary angioedema (HAE) present to the emergency department (ED), where their symptoms are often incorrectly attributed to common allergic and gastrointestinal conditions, resulting in major delays in diagnosis and treatment. OBJECTIVE: To develop a rapid triage HAE (Hereditary AngioEdema Rapid Triage [HAE-RT]) tool for ED settings. METHODS: A mixed-methods approach was used in 3 phases: Phase 1: A literature review on the current management of patients with HAE in the ED. Phase 2: A Delphi study with HAE specialists (N = 9) and Patient Advocacy Group Members (N = 3) to reach consensus on the predictor variables (PVs) to be included in the HAE-RT tool. Phase 3: A retrospective chart review to assess the performance of the PVs for HAE. RESULTS: The literature review informed the final list of PVs included in the HAE-RT prototype. Nine experts participated in the Delphi study. Of 8 identified HAE-specific PVs, 3 reached consensus: (1) absence of urticaria, (2) recurrent abdominal pain/swelling, and (3) lack of response to allergic-directed therapy. The retrospective study included 107 patients (N = 66 with HAE; N = 41 non-HAE). Patients with HAE were more likely to have a family history of HAE (71%; P < .0001), previous recurrent angioedema (96%; P < .002), and previous recurrent abdominal pain (77%; P < .0001), and only 6% responded to allergy treatments (P < .0001). The HAE-RT tool had 98% sensitivity and specificity. CONCLUSIONS: Expert consensus led to the identification and prioritization of variables that when incorporated into an HAE-RT tool were associated with a high level of sensitivity and specificity when applied to known patients.


  • Betschel, Stephen
  • Avilla, Ernie
  • Kanani, Amin
  • Kastner, Monika
  • Keith, Paul
  • Binkley, Karen
  • Lacuesta, Gina
  • Borici-Mazi, Rozita
  • Badiou, Jacquie
  • Rowe, Anne
  • Yang, William H
  • Waserman, Susan

publication date

  • January 2020