Six suction-induced blister fluids obtained from five patients with hereditary angioedema (HAE) contained active kallikrein, whereas only two blister fluids obtained from eight normal volunteers contained small amounts of this activity. Kallikrein was present in large amounts of HAE blister fluids as assessed by its ability to liberate smooth-muscle-contracting activity from purified high molecular weight kininogen. It was inhibited by purified antibodies specific for plasma prekallikrein and also by purified C1 inhibitor, but not by antibodies specific for C1s. These observations suggest that activation of the Hageman-factor-dependent pathways occurs in the tissues of HAE patients, and once generated, active kallikrein persists in these tissues.

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