Alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT) is an important serine protease inhibitor in humans. Hereditary alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) affects lungs and liver. Liver disease caused by AATD in paediatric patients has been previously well documented. However, the association of liver disease with alpha-1-antitrypsin gene polymorphisms in adults is less clear. Therefore, we aimed to study AAT polymorphisms in adults with liver disease. We performed a case-control study. AAT polymorphisms were investigated by isoelectric focusing in 61 patients with liver cirrhosis and 9 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. The control group consisted of 218 healthy blood donors. A significant deviation of observed and expected frequency of AAT phenotypes from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (chi-square = 34.77, df 11, P = 0.000) in the patient group was caused by a higher than expected frequency of Pi ZZ homozygotes (f = 0.0143 and f = 0.0005, respectively, P = 0.000). In addition, Pi M homozygotes were more frequent in patients than in controls (63% and 46%, respectively, P = 0.025). Our study results show that Pi ZZ homozygosity in adults could be associated with severe liver disease. Presence of Pi M homozygosity could be associated with liver disease via some mechanism different from Z allele-induced liver damage through accumulation of AAT polymers.