AATD: allergists need to increase screening in patients with asthma

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Takeaway
  • Specialists in allergy and immunology show low rates of screening for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) in symptomatic patients and miss opportunities for early diagnosis.

Why this matters

  • AATD is underdiagnosed, with many patients experiencing years of symptoms and seeing numerous healthcare providers before appropriate diagnosis. 
  • First symptom is often dyspnea on exercise and can mimic asthma. 
  • The American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society recommend AATD screening in all patients with COPD, patients with unexplained liver disease or bronchiectasis, and patients with asthma with fixed obstructive disease. 
  • Allergist/immunologists should increase screening for AATD, particularly in patients with asthma who have fixed obstructive disease. 

Study design

  • Information on patient diagnosis and treatment patterns was collected from 500 patients with severe AATD ...