Diagnostic flow chart for targeted detection of alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency.

Prima Divisione di Medicina, Spedali Civili, P.le Spedali Civili no. 1, 25123 Brescia, Italy.
Respiratory Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.92). 04/2006; 100(3):463-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.rmed.2005.06.009
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Alpha1-antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is under-recognized, probably because many individuals affected show no clinical impairment. The targeted detection is a tool to increase its recognition.
We prospectively submitted to AAT serum levels determination, phenotyping and, if doubtful, genotyping: (i) patients with the early onset of emphysema, emphysema in absence of recognized risk or pneumothorax (path P), antineutrophil cytoplasm antibodies (ANCA) positive vasculitis (path V), cervical artery dissection (path A), Periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) positive bodies in the liver cell or unexplained abnormal transaminase level (Path L) [index cases: IC] and (ii) subjects with low-serum alpha1-globulin (path e) and close relatives of patients with AAT deficiency (path r) [non index cases: NIC]. We determined and compared gender, age, AAT serum levels values, the ratio between AAT deficiency subjects identified and all subjects examined (identified/examined). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was plotted to find the best threshold for AAT serum levels.
Two hundred and eighty-five individuals were examined and 211 with AAT deficiency identified: 66 were IC and 145 NIC. The ratio identified/examined resulted 0.74. A serum level of 120 mg/dL was able to identify AAT deficiency with a specificity of 73% and a sensitivity of 97%. IC showed male prevalence (P=0.005), more advanced age (P=0.02), lower AAT serum levels (P=0.008).
Our protocol is effective to detect AAT deficiency in a selected population. About 120 mg/dL (nephelometric method) is a reliable AAT serum level cut-off for selecting subjects/patients to submit to phenotype or genotype; as compared to NIC, IC are older, mostly male and with lower AAT serum levels.

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    ABSTRACT: Introduction:Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD), genetic risk factor for premature chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), often remains undetected. The aim of our study was to analyse the effectiveness of an integrative laboratory algorithm for AATD detection in patients diagnosed with COPD by the age of 45 years, in comparison with the screening approach based on AAT concentration measurement alone.Subjects and methods:50 unrelated patients (28 males/22 females, age 52 (24–75 years) diagnosed with COPD before the age of 45 years were enrolled. Immunonephelometric assay for alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT) and PCR-reverse hybridization for Z and S allele were first-line, and isoelectric focusing and DNA sequencing (ABI Prism BigDye) were reflex tests.Results:AATD associated genotypes were detected in 7 patients (5 ZZ, 1 ZMmalton, 1 ZQ0amersfoort), 10 were heterozygous carriers (8 MZ and 2 MS genotypes) and 33 were without AATD (MM genotype). Carriers and patients without AATD had comparable AAT concentrations (P = 0.125). In majority of participants (48) first line tests were sufficient to analyze AATD presence. In two remaining cases reflex tests identified rare alleles, Mmalton and Q0amersfoort, the later one being reported for the first time in Serbian population. Detection rate did not differ between algorithm and screening both for AATD (P = 0.500) and carriers (P = 0.063).Conclusion:There is a high prevalence of AATD affected subjects and carriers in a group of patients with premature COPD. The use of integrative laboratory algorithm does not improve the effectiveness of AATD detection in comparison with the screening based on AAT concentration alone.
    Biochemia Medica 06/2014; 24(2):293-8. DOI:10.11613/BM.2014.032 · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Alpha-1 antitrypsin is the main inhibitor of neutrophil elastase in the lung. Although it is principally synthesized by hepatocytes, alpha-1 antitrypsin is also secreted by bronchial epithelial cells. Gene mutations can lead to alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, with the Z variant being the most clinically relevant due to its propensity to polymerize. The ability of bronchial epithelial cells to produce Z-variant protein and its polymers is unknown.We investigated the expression, accumulation, and secretion of Z-alpha-1 antitrypsin and its polymers in cultures of transfected cells and in cells originating from alpha-1 antitrypsin-deficient patients.Methods Experiments using a conformation-specific antibody were carried out on M- and Z-variant¿transfected 16HBE cells and on bronchial biopsies and ex vivo bronchial epithelial cells from Z and M homozygous patients. In addition, the effect of an inflammatory stimulus on Z-variant polymer formation, elicited by Oncostatin M, was investigated. Comparisons of groups were performed using t-test or ANOVA. Non-normally distributed data were assessed by Mann¿Whitney U test or the Kruskal-Wallis test, where appropriate. A P value of¿<¿0.05 was considered to be significant.ResultsAlpha-1 antitrypsin polymers were found at a higher concentration in the culture medium of ex vivo bronchial epithelial cells from Z-variant homozygotes, compared with M-variant homozygotes (P¿<¿0.01), and detected in the bronchial epithelial cells and submucosa of patient biopsies. Oncostatin M significantly increased the expression of alpha-1 antitrypsin mRNA and protein (P¿=¿< 0.05), and the presence of Z-variant polymers in ex vivo cells (P¿<¿0.01).Conclusions Polymers of Z-alpha-1 antitrypsin form in bronchial epithelial cells, suggesting that these cells may be involved in the pathogenesis of lung emphysema and in bronchial epithelial cell dysfunction.
    Respiratory Research 09/2014; 15(1):112. DOI:10.1186/PREACCEPT-1338096857123292 · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is relatively common but under-recognized. Indeed, fewer than 10% of the estimated 100,000 Americans with AATD have been diagnosed currently, with common reports of long delays between initial symptoms and first detection and the need to see multiple physicians before diagnosis. Because detection can confer benefits (e.g., identification of at-risk family members, lower smoking likelihood, consideration of augmentation therapy), targeted detection of AATD in at-risk groups such as all symptomatic adults with COPD has been endorsed. Two general approaches to detection have been studied: population-based screening (in which testing is performed in a group for whom no increased risk of having AATD exists) and targeted detection or case-finding (in which testing is confined to those with an attributable condition such as COPD or chronic liver disease). Studies to date have suggested that population-based screening is not cost-effective, whereas targeted detection of AATD has been advocated by official society guidelines. Efforts to enhance detection of AATD individuals have included various approaches, including educational campaigns, provision of free test kits, issuance of reminders with medical reports or within an electronic medical record, and empowering respiratory therapists to conduct testing for AATD in pulmonary function laboratories. Such programs have identified individuals with severe deficiency of alpha-1 antitrypsin in up to 12% of subjects, with considerable variation across series by testing criteria. Overall, the persistence of under-recognition of AATD underscores the need for continued efforts to optimize detection of this potentially debilitating genetic disease.
    COPD Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease 03/2013; 10(S1). DOI:10.3109/15412555.2013.763782 · 2.62 Impact Factor

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