Alpha1-Antitrypsin Deficiency in COPD: Clinical Implications

, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, NY

In This Article


Alpha1-AT is a modulator of airway inflammation and therefore, a functional or absolute deficiency may predispose to bronchial hyperreactivity and asthma. Asthma is more prevalent in patients with alpha1-ATD. The presence of asthma in individuals with alpha1-ATD may accelerate the development of chronic airflow obstruction. For individuals without evidence of asthma, long-term treatment with systemic steroids should be avoided. The potential exists for treatment of airway disease with alpha1-AT replacement. The idea that asthma and alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency are connected pathophysiologically is an attractive one, but it remains to be seen whether the initial findings will bear fruit of innovative therapy in the future.


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