Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is associated with several types of pathology, and the reported effects of mutations in the ATT-encoding gene vary worldwide. No Turkish study has yet appeared. We thus explored the AAT status of Turkish patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Materials and methods: This prospective cross-sectional study included outpatients and inpatients treated from June 2021 to June 2022. Serum AAT levels were checked, and dry blood samples were subjected to genetic analysis. Results: Genetic mutations were found in 21 (3.52%) of 596 patients with prior and new COPD diagnoses treated in our pneumonology outpatient department. The mean serum AAT level was 114.80 mg/dL (minimum 19, maximum 209; standard deviation 27.86 mg/dL). The most frequent mutation was M/Plowell (23.8%, n = 5), followed by M/S (23.8%, n = 5), M/I (19%, n = 4), M/Malton (14.3%, n = 3), Z/Z (9.5%, n = 2), M/Z (4.8%, n = 1), and Kayseri/Kayseri (4.8%, n = 1). Thoracic computed tomography revealed that 85.7% (n = 18) of all patients had emphysema, 28.5% (n = 6) had bronchiectasis, and 28.5% (n = 6) had mass lesions. Of the emphysema patients, 55% (n = 10) had only upper lobe emphysema, and 83.3% (n = 15) had emphysema in additional areas, but statistical significance was lacking (p > 0.05). Conclusion: In patients with emphysema and normal serum AAT levels, genetic analyses may reveal relevant heterozygous mutations, which are commonly ignored. Most clinicians focus on lower lobe emphysema. Evaluations of such patients might reveal AAT mutations that are presently overlooked because they are not considered to influence COPD status.


Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, COPD, emphysema

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