Opinions and Attitudes of Pulmonologists About Augmentation Therapy in Patients with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. A Survey of the EARCO Group
Background: Augmentation therapy (AT) is the only specific treatment licensed for patients with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) associated lung disease. Since patients with severe AATD may have a very different prognosis and AT requires intravenous infusions for life, the decision to initiate AT may be challenging. Methods: This survey was conducted on 63 experts in AATD from 13 European countries about their opinions and attitudes regarding AT. Participants were asked to rank the importance of 11 identified factors related with the prescription of AT. In addition, each participant was asked to respond to the indication of AT for 30 out of 500 hypothetical cases developed with the combinations of the 11 factors. Each case was evaluated by 3 experts to check the concordance. Results: The variables that scored higher on preferences for initiating AT were AAT genotype (score 8.6 from a Likert scale 0– 10 (SD: 1.7)), AATD serum level (8.2 (SD:2.4)) and FEV1 (%) decline (7.9 (SD:2.4)). Among the 500 different cases, there was an agreement in indication of AT among the 3 experts in 291 (58.2%). Regarding the variables associated with AT, it was indicated to 81.9% of Pi*ZZ, 52.4% of Pi*SZ and 9.8% of Pi*MZ (p < 0.0001). For Pi*ZZ patients, multivariate analysis identified younger age, reduced FEV1 (%), higher FEV1 decline and worse emphysema as significantly associated with prescription (AUC = 0.8114); for Pi*SZ variables were younger age, worse FEV1 (%) and worse emphysema (AUC = 0.7414); and for Pi*MZ younger age, worse DLCO (%), higher DLCO decline and dyspnea (AUC = 0.8387). Conclusion: There is a high variability in the criteria for prescription of AT among European experts. Most cases were recommended AT according to guidelines, but a significant number of patients with genotype Pi*SZ and almost 10% Pi*MZ were recommended to initiate AT despite the lack of evidence of efficacy in these genotypes.
EARCO; Augmentation therapy; Survey
Greulich T, Albert A, Cassel W, Boeselt T, Peychev E, Klemmer A, et al. Opinions and Attitudes of Pulmonologists About Augmentation Therapy in Patients with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. A Survey of the EARCO Group. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2022 Jan 5;17:53–64.
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