Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) augmentation therapy in individuals with the PI*MZ genotype: a pro/con debate on a working hypothesis
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is a significantly under-diagnosed genetic condition caused by reduced levels and/or functionality of alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT), predisposing individuals to lung, liver or other systemic diseases. The management of individuals with the PI*MZ genotype, characterized by mild or moderate AAT deficiency, is less clear than of those with the most common severe deficiency genotype (PI*ZZ). Recent genetic data suggest that the PI*MZ genotype may be significantly more prevalent than currently thought. The only specific treatment for lung disease associated with severe AATD is the intravenous infusion of AAT augmentation therapy, which has been shown to slow disease progression in PI*ZZ individuals. There is no specific evidence for the clinical benefit of AAT therapy in PI*MZ individuals, and the risk of emphysema development in this group remains controversial. As such, current guidelines do not support the use of AAT augmentation in PI*MZ individuals. Here, we discuss the limited data on the PI*MZ genotype and offer pro and con perspectives on pursuing an AAT-specific therapeutic strategy in PI*MZ individuals with lung disease. Ultimately, further research to demonstrate the safety, risk/benefit balance and efficacy of AAT therapy in PI*MZ individuals is needed.
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency; Genotype; Pulmonary disease
Barjaktarevic I, Miravitlles M. Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) augmentation therapy in individuals with the PI*MZ genotype: a pro/con debate on a working hypothesis. BMC Pulm Med. 2021 Mar 23;21:99.
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