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Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency?

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is a condition that increases your risk for lung and liver damage. Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) is made by your liver and protects your lungs and liver from infections and inflammation. Your body may not be able to make enough healthy AAT if you were born with abnormal genes that make AAT. If the AAT your liver makes is faulty, it can cause liver inflammation, damage, and may lead to liver failure. You may also develop AATD if tobacco smoke or chemical fumes decrease your AAT levels.

What are the signs and symptoms of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency?

How is alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and when they started. The provider will ask about your family's medical history. You may also need one or more of the following tests:

How is alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency treated?

You will need to avoid harmful chemical fumes and tobacco smoke. This will help prevent any further lung damage. If you smoke and need help quitting, talk to your healthcare provider. You may need one or more of the following:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

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What are the risks of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency?

Where can I find more information?

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Contact your healthcare provider if:

When should I seek immediate care?

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Treatment options

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