We describe three cases of female subjects (aged 16, 44 and 41 years) with no respiratory symptoms, who have alpha-1 antitripsyn mutation (PiSZ, PiZZ and PiZZ) and who performed traditional pulmonary function tests and the single breath nitrogen washout test. They still did not have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or any identifiable change in traditional pulmonary function tests but already have change in nitrogen washout tests. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is a genetic disorder associated with early-onset COPD. There is evidence that although patients who have well-preserved FEV1 may already have signs of emphysema associated with symptoms. Therefore, the nitrogen washout test is considered to have more sensitive outcomes than other pulmonary function tests for early investigation of small airways disease and could allow the monitoring pulmonary function and evaluating of therapeutic decision.
- pulmonary emphysema
- lung function
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Contributors TFdC: conception or design of the work; data collection; data analysis and interpretation; drafting the article; critical revision of the article; final approval of the version to be published. RR: data analysis and interpretation; critical revision of the article. AL: data analysis and interpretation; critical revision of the article. CHC: conception or design of the work; data analysis and interpretation; drafting the article; critical revision of the article; final approval of the version to be published.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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