Introduction: α1-Antitrypsin deficiency is an under-recognized condition with long diagnostic delays between the first symptoms and diagnosis, and there is evidence that patients with suggestive symptoms may see many physicians before an exact diagnosis is made. An increased incidence of serum α1-antitrypsin deficiency has been reported in patients with spontaneous pneumothorax. Aim of the research: To evaluate a1-antitrypsin level in subjects with spontaneous pneumothorax. Material and methods: Thirty-nine patients with the diagnosis of spontaneous pneumothorax and 100 age- and sexmatched control subjects were included in the study. a1-antitrypsin concentrations were determined by nephelometry. Serum qualitative Z antitrypsin variant was analyzed using commercial ELISA kits and a1-antitrypsin phenotyping was carried out by means of isoelectric focusing. Results: Spontaneous pneumothorax occurred in 29 patients for the first time; 10 patients had recurrent pneumothorax. There were no significant differences in age and lung function comparing the patients with and without αa1-antitrypsin deficiency. a1-Antitrypsin level was significantly higher in patients with spontaneous pneumothorax (1.53 ±0.23 g/l) than controls (1.34 ±0.31 g/l) (p = 0.03). Conclusions: Elevated serum a1-antitrypsin level in patients with pneumothorax may show the need to inhibit the activity of proteases that are important for lung damage.
- Spontaneous pneumothorax