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Alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD)

Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency is a condition that causes either low, or no, levels of alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) in the blood. This genetic deficiency affects 1 in 3,000 – 5,000 individuals. The purpose of AAT is to protect the lungs and keeps them functioning normally. However, without enough of it, the lungs can be damaged, thus resulting in a difficulty of breathing.


  • Shortness of breath with mild activity
  • Reduced ability to exercise without wheezing
  • Recurrent respiratory infections
  • Exhaustion
  • Rapid heartbeat upon standing up
  • Problem with vision
  • Unintentional weight loss

There is currently no cure to this deficiency; however, it can be managed. The goal of AATD management is to prevent or slow the progression of lung disease.

AATD Management

  • Bronchodilators
  • Antibiotics
  • Annual pneumonia and influenza vaccines
  • Lung transplantation
  • Lifestyle change: quit smoking

Serving Chattanooga with pulmonary care for ten years, Dr. Mike Czarnecki, “The Lung Doc”, provides each of his patients with exceptional and personalized care. Discuss your health and the treatment options best for you with Dr. Mike by scheduling your appointment today. Please contact us with your questions by calling (423) 710-3864.