Diagnosis of alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency not just in severe COPD

Pulmonology. Nov-Dec 2018;24(6):351-353. doi: 10.1016/j.pulmoe.2018.05.005. Epub 2018 Jun 18.


Alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is a well known genetic risk factor for pulmonary disease and is the most frequent hereditary disease diagnosed in adults. Despite being one of the most common hereditary diseases, AATD remains under-diagnosed because of its variable clinical presentation and the poor knowledge of this disease by physicians. With the aim of identifying clinical differences that could influence early diagnosis, we compared two groups of six AATD Pi*ZZ patients with different lung function severity and clinical expression at diagnosis. On comparing the two groups, we observed a younger mean age at diagnosis and more exacerbations in the severe group, but the percentage of smokers did not statistically differ between the two groups. Our results suggest that AATD continues being a disease suspected on younger patients with a worse lung function. In addition these findings confirm the clinical variability of the disease and that there are still unknown factors that contribute to its development. Therefore, early diagnosis may modify the prognosis of this disease.

Keywords: Alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency; COPD; Diagnosis.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency / complications
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency / diagnosis*