Alpha1 Antitrypsin Test- Why am I having this test?
The alpha1-antitrypsin test may be used to check for a deficiency of the AAT protein, which means that the amount of AAT in your blood is below normal. Deficiencies of AAT are associated with the early onset of a disease that damages the lungs (emphysema). Your health care provider may recommend this test if you have a family history of emphysema. The test can help determine:
- If you are at risk for early emphysema or if your emphysema is caused by an inherited disorder.
- If your relatives should be tested or may be at risk of early emphysema.
- If you need further testing of the AAT protein in your blood.
Low levels of AAT are also associated with cirrhosis and other liver diseases in children. A high level of AAT may be caused by inflammation, an infection, or certain cancers.
What is being tested?
This test measures the amount of AAT protein in your blood.
What kind of sample is taken?
A blood sample is required for this test. It is usually collected by inserting a needle into a blood vessel.
Tell a health care provider about:
- All medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbs, eye drops, creams, and over-the-counter medicines.
- Whether you are pregnant or may be pregnant.
How are the results reported?
Your test results will be reported as a value. Your health care provider will compare your results to normal ranges that were established after testing a large group of people (reference ranges). Reference ranges may vary among labs and hospitals. For this test, the common reference range is:
- 85–213 mg/dL or 0.85–2.13 g/L (SI units).
What do the results mean?
Decreased levels of AAT may indicate:
- Early onset of emphysema.
- Cirrhosis in children.
- Low blood protein due to malnutrition, cancer, certain syndromes, or liver failure.
Generally, increased levels of AAT may indicate:
- Infection, such as a thyroid infection.
Talk with your health care provider about what your results mean.
Questions to ask your health care provider
Ask your health care provider, or the department that is doing the test:
- When will my results be ready?
- How will I get my results?
- What are my treatment options?
- What other tests do I need?
- What are my next steps?
- The alpha1-antitrypsin (AAT) test may be used to check for a deficiency of the AAT protein, which means that the amount of AAT in your blood is below normal.
- Deficiencies of AAT are associated with the early onset of a disease that damages the lungs (emphysema).
- Blood levels of AAT may help your health care provider to determine if you are at risk for early emphysema, if your emphysema is related to an inherited disorder, or if your family members may be at risk for early emphysema.