Angioedema is a well-demarcated oedema or swelling of the subcutaneous or interstitial tissue.1 Angioedema is not itchy but may be painful and warm.2 Angioedema primarily affects the face, lips, mouth, upper airway and the extremities.2

What causes angioedema in infants?
The most common causes of angioedema in infants include food allergens, such as cows' milk protein.3 Insect bites, some medications or latex can also result in angioedema.Angioedema with Urticaria has been reported to occur as a symptom of CMA in almost 30% of infants and symptoms present as early reactions to the ingestion of cows’ milk protein.4

Angioedema as a symptom of Cows' Milk Allergy
Acute Angioedema in infants is one of the many cutaneous symptoms of Cows' Milk Allergy (CMA)5, primarily affecting the lips or eyelids.5 Angioedema occurs in about 10% of infants with CMA.2

Signs and symptoms related to CMA
The majority of infants affected with CMA have at least two symptoms affecting at least two different organ systems.5,6

Having an awareness of the most common symptoms of CMA can help you to make an earlier diagnosis of CMA in your patients.

Baby with swollen face


The Cows' Milk-related Symptom Score (CoMiSSTM) is a simple, fast and easy-to-use awareness tool designed to help you more easily recognise the signs and symptoms that can be cows' milk-related in infants and young children.


If you suspect your patient is suffering from symptoms that may be suggestive of CMA, use the CoMiSSTM tool to score and assess the likelihood of CMA.

Other Symptoms of Cows' Milk Allergy


  1. Deadcock SJ. Clin Exp Immunol. 2008;153(2):151-61
  2. Schaefer P. An Fam Physician 2011 May 1;83 (9): 1078-84
  3. Vandenplas Y., et al. Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr. 2014 Mar;17(1):1-5
  4. Angioedema- Causes (Accessed March 2016)
  5. Lifschitz C and Szajewska H. Eur J Pediatr. 2015;174:141–50
  6. Høst A. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 1994;5:1–36

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Mothers should be encouraged to continue breastfeeding even when their babies have cows' milk protein allergy. This usually requires qualified dietary counselling to completely exclude all sources of cows' milk protein from the mothers’ diet. If a decision to use a special formula intended for infants is taken, it is important to follow the instructions on the label. Unboiled water, unboiled bottles or incorrect dilution can make babies ill. Incorrect storage, handling, preparation and feeding can eventually lead to adverse effects on the health of babies. Formula for special medical purposes intended for infants must be used under medical supervision.