Alpha-1 Antitrypsin

Unlock the power of the Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test. Learn about its uses, significance, and results to manage AATD effectively.

By Joshua Napilay on Jun 20, 2024.

Fact Checked by RJ Gumban.

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What is an Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test (ATT)?

The Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test (AAT) is a diagnostic blood test used to measure the levels of alpha-1 antitrypsin in a person's blood. Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) is a protein produced in the liver and released into the bloodstream, where its primary function is to protect the lungs and other tissues from damage caused by enzymes such as neutrophil elastase. Neutrophil elastase is an enzyme produced by white blood cells and is involved in the breakdown of proteins in the body.

Low levels of alpha-1 antitrypsin can lead to a condition known as alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD), which is a genetic disorder. AATD is characterized by an increased risk of developing lung and liver diseases. The lack of AAT in the lungs allows neutrophil elastase to damage lung tissues, leading to conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema at an earlier age than usual. In the liver, the deficiency can cause liver disease, including cirrhosis.

The is crucial for identifying individuals with AATD so that they can receive appropriate medical management and interventions to slow down or manage the progression of associated lung and liver conditions. This test typically involves drawing a blood sample from a patient and then analyzing the serum or plasma to measure the concentration of alpha-1 antitrypsin.

Depending on the results, individuals with AATD may be advised on lifestyle modifications, medications, and, in some cases, supplemental alpha-1 antitrypsin therapy to manage their condition.

Printable Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test

Download this Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test to better assess and diagnose your patients.

How Does It Work?

Sample Collection

A trained healthcare professional begins by collecting a blood sample from the patient, typically from a vein in the arm. The sample collection is crucial as it provides the specimen for subsequent analysis.

Blood Processing

The drawn blood sample undergoes meticulous processing, where it is centrifuged to separate the liquid component, either serum or plasma, from the cellular elements. This processed sample contains the proteins, including AAT, which will be examined in the test.

Laboratory Analysis

The isolated serum or plasma is subjected to laboratory analysis. This often involves employing enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) techniques to quantify the concentration of AAT within the sample.

Interpretation of Results

Following the analysis, the results are reported in precise measurements, usually milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or micromoles per liter (��mol/L). These values are then compared to established reference ranges.

Diagnostic Assessment

Trained healthcare providers interpret the results to ascertain the presence and degree of AAT deficiency. Deficiencies can range from mild to severe and affect lung and liver health.

Form Completion

Simultaneously, patients are required to complete the Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test form. This document collects vital information, such as personal details, medical history (including lung and liver conditions), family history of AATD, current medications, and consent for the test and data usage.

Insurance and Payment

If applicable, the form includes sections for insurance details or payment information, ensuring proper billing and coverage.


Patients submit the completed form to the healthcare provider or testing facility during their scheduled appointment, along with the blood sample collected earlier.


After the test, healthcare providers contact patients to discuss the results comprehensively. Depending on the findings, patients receive guidance on appropriate follow-up steps, including lifestyle recommendations, medications, or specialized AAT replacement therapy.

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test Example (Sample)

The Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test form, available in PDF format, is a comprehensive document healthcare providers use to collect vital patient information for diagnosing and managing alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD). This form includes sections for patient details such as name, date of birth, contact information, and medical history, ensuring a thorough assessment.

Additionally, it incorporates consent and authorization for the test, insurance information, and payment details, facilitating a seamless testing process. Patients can conveniently attach a blood sample vial to the form, which is later analyzed in the laboratory. Following the test, patients can expect to be contacted by their healthcare provider to discuss results and necessary follow-up steps, ensuring personalized care based on their unique medical profile.

This Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test form in PDF streamlines the testing process, providing a standardized and efficient means to collect essential patient data while adhering to consent and privacy regulations. It enables healthcare professionals to make accurate diagnoses and tailor treatment plans for individuals with AATD, ultimately improving patient outcomes and overall health management.

Download this Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test Example:

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test Example (Sample)

When Would You Use This Test?

The Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test is a valuable diagnostic tool healthcare practitioners use in various clinical scenarios. Here are some critical situations and medical specialties in which this test is particularly relevant:

  • Diagnosing Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD): Pulmonologists often use this test to confirm the presence of AATD in patients with unexplained lung conditions, such as early-onset emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). AATD is a genetic disorder that predisposes individuals to lung diseases due to inadequate levels of alpha-1 antitrypsin.
  • Assessing Liver Function: Hepatologists may order the Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test when evaluating patients with suspected liver disease, as AATD can lead to liver problems, including cirrhosis and liver failure.
  • Early Detection in Children: Pediatricians may recommend this test for children with a family history of AATD or unexplained respiratory or liver issues. Early diagnosis is crucial for managing the condition effectively.
  • Family Planning: Genetic counselors may suggest the Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test for couples with a family history of AATD, helping them make informed decisions about family planning and genetic risk assessment.
  • Risk Assessment Before Surgery: Anesthesiologists and surgeons may consider this test before elective surgeries for patients with a history of AATD, as the deficiency can impact respiratory function and perioperative outcomes.
  • Public Health Initiatives: In some regions, public health programs advocate for widespread screening of high-risk populations, such as individuals with a family history of AATD or specific ethnic groups known to have a higher prevalence of the condition.
  • Evaluating Treatment Efficacy: Researchers and pharmaceutical companies involved in AATD-related studies and clinical trials use this test to assess the impact of experimental therapies and interventions.

What Do the Results Mean?

Interpreting the results of an Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test is crucial for diagnosing and managing alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD). The results are typically reported as the concentration of alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) in the patient's blood, often measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or micromoles per liter (��mol/L). Here's what expected results may signify:

  • Normal Range (Typically 100-200 mg/dL): If the test results fall within the normal range, the patient has adequate levels of alpha-1 antitrypsin in their blood. This is reassuring, indicating no deficiency of this protective protein.
  • Mild AATD (60-80% of Normal Range): A result in this range may indicate mild alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. Individuals with mild deficiency may have a slightly increased risk of developing lung or liver disease later in life.
  • Moderate AATD (30-60% of Normal Range): Falling within this range suggests a moderate deficiency of alpha-1 antitrypsin. Patients with moderate deficiency have a higher risk of developing lung conditions like emphysema, particularly if they smoke or are exposed to other lung irritants.
  • Severe AATD (Less than 30% of Normal Range): A result indicating severe deficiency raises significant concerns. Individuals in this category have a substantially elevated risk of developing severe lung diseases, often at a younger age, and may also be at risk for liver problems.

It's important to note that the interpretation of results should be done in consultation with a healthcare provider who can consider the patient's medical history, family history, and overall health. Additionally, other factors, such as smoking or exposure to environmental toxins, can exacerbate the effects of AATD.

Research & Evidence

The Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test is grounded in a history of scientific research and clinical evidence that spans several decades. 

The story begins with the discovery of alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) in the mid-20th century. Dr. Laurell and Dr. Eriksson, Swedish scientists, were the first to isolate and characterize this protein in 1963. They found that AAT protects lung tissues from damage caused by enzymes like neutrophil elastase.

Subsequent research led to the recognizing of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) as a genetic disorder in which individuals inherit two faulty AAT genes, reducing functional AAT levels in the blood. AATD was linked to an increased risk of lung and liver diseases.

The Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test has become a cornerstone in diagnosing AATD. Research studies have confirmed its accuracy in measuring AAT levels in blood samples, enabling clinicians to identify individuals with AATD.

Extensive clinical studies have demonstrated the link between AATD and the development of lung conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema. Research has also shown that AATD can lead to liver diseases, including cirrhosis.

Clinical trials and observational studies have explored the efficacy of alpha-1 antitrypsin replacement therapy interventions in managing AATD. These therapies have been shown to slow the progression of lung disease in some individuals.

Advances in genetic research have led to a deeper understanding of the various genetic mutations associated with AATD, contributing to improved diagnostic accuracy and genetic counseling.

Why Use Carepatron as Your Alpha-1 Antitrypsin App?

Utilizing Carepatron as the platform for conducting Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Tests is a strategic choice driven by the excellence of its Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test app and comprehensive software. Here's a distinct perspective on why Carepatron excels in this critical medical domain:

  • Seamless User Experience: Carepatron's Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test app offers an intuitive, user-centric experience streamlining the testing process. From appointment scheduling to securely storing and sharing results, it simplifies the journey for healthcare providers and patients, ensuring a hassle-free experience.
  • Fortified Data Security: The platform prioritizes the protection of sensitive medical data. Its Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test Software incorporates cutting-edge encryption and complies with stringent healthcare data regulations, instilling confidence in the secure handling of patient information.
  • Empowering Patients: Carepatron revolves around patient empowerment. Through its Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test app, patients gain active participation in their healthcare. They can monitor their progress, access test results, and communicate seamlessly with healthcare professionals, fostering collaboration in managing AATD.
  • Efficient Communication Hub: Effective communication is pivotal in healthcare. Carepatron's platform offers a hub for real-time messaging, appointment coordination, and result sharing, enabling seamless interactions between healthcare providers and patients to discuss test outcomes and care plans.
  • Integration and Insights: Carepatron's Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test Software seamlessly integrates with existing healthcare systems and EHRs. It boasts advanced analytics tools, empowering healthcare providers to glean insights from patient data, identify trends, and make informed decisions about their care strategies.
  • Holistic Health Records: The platform enables the creation of comprehensive electronic health records (EHRs) that serve as centralized repositories for pertinent patient information, including Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test results. This organization ensures quick access to essential data, facilitating efficient healthcare delivery.
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Who typically requests an Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test?
Who typically requests an Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test?

Commonly asked questions

Who typically requests an Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test?

Healthcare providers, such as pulmonologists, hepatologists, pediatricians, and genetic counselors, typically request Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Tests. It may also be recommended for individuals with a family history of AATD or specific medical conditions.

When are Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Tests used?

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Tests are used when there's suspicion of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD), especially in unexplained lung or liver diseases. It's also employed in genetic counseling and research related to AATD.

How are Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Tests used?

The test involves collecting a blood sample, processing it to isolate serum or plasma, and conducting laboratory analysis to measure alpha-1 antitrypsin levels. Results are used to diagnose AATD and assess the associated lung and liver disease risk.

How long does an Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Test take?

The test itself typically takes a few minutes for blood collection. However, the entire process, including sample processing and analysis, may take several days to a few weeks before results are available for review by a healthcare provider.

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