Angioedema is a rare but potentially lethal adverse effect when associated with upper airway obstruction. Sporadic cases of angioedema secondary to angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) have been reported in the literature. The overall incidence is around 0.1% to 0.2%, and the time of onset is usually during the first week of ACEI therapy. Late- onset angioedema secondary to treatment with ACEIs is much more frequent than appreciated, and is largely unrecognized because of the absence of temporal correlation between ACEI therapy and the development of angioedema. Since angioedema may progress to upper airway obstruction, otolaryngologists must be aware of this association. Most importantly, late-onset angioedema should alert the clinician to discontinue the ACEI immediately to prevent further morbidity. This report presents an example of late-onset angioedema which was precipitated by taking a double close of captopril incidentally. The case is discussed, and the literature, pathophysiology and treatment of angioedema are reviewed.
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