[Long-term therapy of alpha 1-antitrypsin-deficiency-associated pulmonary emphysema with human alpha 1-antitrypsin]

Pneumologie. 1998 Oct;52(10):545-52.
[Article in German]


alpha 1-antitrypsin (alpha 1-AT) deficiency is a genetic disorder characterized by low serum levels of alpha 1-AT and a high risk of pulmonary emphysema at a young age. The resulting surplus of proteases, mainly of neutrophil elastase, can be balanced by i.v. augmentation with alpha 1-AT. However, it is not clear if affected patients benefit from long-term augmentation therapy and no long-term safety data are available. We examined 443 patients with severe alpha 1-AT deficiency and pulmonary emphysema receiving weekly i.v. infusions of 60 mg/kg body weight alpha 1-AT in addition to their regular medication. The progression of the disease was assessed by repeated lung function measurements, particularly the decline in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (delta FEV1). 443 patients with alpha 1-AT deficiency tolerated augmentation therapy well with few adverse reactions. The delta FEV1 in 287 patients with available follow-up data was 57.1 +/- 31.1 ml per year. Stratified for baseline FEV1, the decline was 35.6 +/- 21.3 ml in the 108 patients with an initial FEV1 < 30% and 64.0 +/- 26.4 ml in the 164 with 30% < FEV1 < or = 65% of predicted normal (p = 0.0008). The remaining 15 patients had an initial FEV1 > 65%. Long-term treatment with i.v. alpha 1-antitrypsin in patients with severe alpha 1-Pi deficiency is feasible and safe. The decline in forced expiratory volume in one second is related to the initial forced expiratory volume in one second as in alpha 1-antitrypsin deficient patients not receiving augmentation therapy.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disease Progression
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Long-Term Care
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / genetics
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin / administration & dosage*
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency / genetics
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency / therapy*


  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin