Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency and chronic pancreatitis

Dig Dis Sci. 1995 Sep;40(9):1997-2001. doi: 10.1007/BF02208669.


Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency is a genetic disorder commonly associated with pulmonary and hepatic injury. Low serum levels of this glycoprotein result in an imbalance between circulating protease and protease inhibitors, which is thought to play a role in the development of emphysema. In recent studies, a protease-to-protease inhibitor imbalance in patients with alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency was thought to be a mechanism contributing to the development of chronic pancreatitis. The heterozygous phenotype and low levels of this glycoprotein have been reported to occur more frequently in patients with chronic pancreatitis than in healthy controls. We report a patient with Pi-SS phenotype alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency and chronic pancreatitis complicated by recurrent pancreatic pseudocysts and chronic abdominal pain. Our case supports the association between chronic pancreatitis and alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency. Furthermore, this case provides support for the use of pancreatic stent drainage in the management of intractable abdominal pain in patients with chronic pancreatitis and a dominant stricture.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Abdominal Pain / therapy
  • Adult
  • Cholangiopancreatography, Endoscopic Retrograde
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Pancreatic Pseudocyst / etiology
  • Pancreatic Pseudocyst / therapy
  • Pancreatitis / etiology*
  • Pancreatitis / therapy
  • Phenotype
  • Stents
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin / genetics
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency*


  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin