Alpha-1 Antitrypsin

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This test measures the amount of alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) in the blood. AAT is a protein that is made in the liver. It helps protect your lungs from damage and diseases, such as emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Test NameALPHA-1-ANTITRYPSIN QUANTITATION; AAT
PurposeCongenital deficiency of AAT is associated with early lung disease, Neonatal hepatitis and Infantile cirrhosis.
PreTest PreparationsNo special preparation required

CategoryGenetic Disorders
Specimen2 mL (0.5 mL min.) serum from 1 Red Top (No Additive) tube. Do not use SST gel barrier tubes. Separate serum from cells immediately. Ship refrigerated or frozen.
Stability RoomNA
Stability Refrigerated3 days
Stability Frozen3 months
MethodNephelometry
Alpha-1-Antitrypsin
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Also Known as: A1AT, AAT, Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AAT deficiency) is an inherited condition that raises your risk for lung and liver disease. Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) is a protein that protects the lungs. The liver makes it. If the AAT proteins aren’t the right shape, they get stuck in the liver cells and can’t reach the lungs.

Symptoms of AAT deficiency include

  • Shortness of breath and wheezing
  • Repeated lung infections
  • Tiredness
  • Rapid heartbeat upon standing
  • Vision problems
  • Weight loss

Why do I need an AAT test ?

You may need an AAT test if you are under the age of 45, are not a smoker, and have symptoms of lung disease, including:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chronic cough
  • Faster than normal heartbeat when you stand up
  • Vision problems
  • Asthma that doesn’t respond well to treatment

When to get tested?

When your baby or toddler shows signs of liver disease.
When you develop emphysema before age 40
When you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or unexplained liver disease at any age.
When you have a close family member with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

Sample

  • The patient needs to fast for several hours before giving the sample.
  • This test is done in the serum or plasma.
    • Separate serum immediately and store properly.
  • Take 3 to 5 ml of blood in the disposable syringe. Keep the syringe for 15 to 30 minutes and then centrifuge for 2 to 4 minutes. In this way can get a clear serum.
  • Serum or plasma is stable for ≥ 7 days at 4 °C.
    • At -70 °C is stable for 3 months.

Precautions

  1. This is raised during pregnancy.
  2. Oral contraceptives increase the level of AAT.

Normal Values:

Source 1

Newborn145 to 270 mg/dL
Adult78 to 200 mg/dL
>60 years115 to 200 mg/dL

Source 2

  • Normal = 85 to 213 mg/dL (0.85 to 2.13 g/L).

Increased Level Is Seen In:

  1. Inflammatory disorders.
  2. Cancers.
  3. Hormonal effects.
  4. Systemic lupus erythematosus.
  5. Brain infarction.
  6. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Decreased Level Is Seen In:

  1. Kidney diseases like Nephrotic syndrome.
  2. Prematurity.
  3. Liver diseases like acute hepatitis.
  4. In lung as respiratory distress syndrome and Emphysema.
  5. Protein-losing gastro- enteropathies.
  6. Pancreatitis.
  7. Congenital defects.
  8. AAT levels are  secondarily low in patients like:
    1. Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome.
    2. Severe pancreatitis.
    3. Protein-losing disorders.

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