Reduce symptoms1,2

Appropriate management of lung-related symptoms in alpha-1-antitrypsin (A1AT) deficiency (also known as alpha-1) may include:

  • Bronchodilators: used on an as-needed or regular basis to prevent or reduce symptoms (eg, reduce exercise-induced dyspnea)
  • Inhaled steroids: used to reduce bronchial inflammation and help improve symptoms, lung function, and quality of life, may also reduce the frequency of COPD exacerbations in patients with predicted FEV1 <60%
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation: recommended for patients with functional impairment
    • Pulmonary rehabilitation may:
      • Improve exercise capacity
      • Reduce symptoms
      • Improve health-related quality of life
      • Reduce COPD-related anxiety and depression
      • Reduce hospitalizations and length of hospital stay
      • Improve recovery following exacerbation-related hospital stay
    • Components of pulmonary rehabilitation may include:
      • Exercise training
      • Smoking cessation
      • Nutrition counseling
      • Education


  1. American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society statement: standards for the diagnosis and management of individuals with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2003;168:818-900.
  2. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. Global strategy for the diagnosis, management, and prevention of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 2016. Accessed July 14, 2016.

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