Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is a common, potentially lethal inborn disorder caused by mutations in alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT). Homozygosity for the 'Pi*Z' variant of AAT (Pi*ZZ genotype) causes lung and liver disease, whereas heterozygous 'Pi*Z' carriage (Pi*MZ genotype) predisposes to gallstones and liver fibrosis. The clinical significance of the more common 'Pi*S' variant remains largely undefined and no robust data exist on the prevalence of liver tumours in AATD.Baseline phenotypes of AATD individuals and non-carriers were analysed in 482 380 participants in the UK Biobank. 1104 participants of a multinational cohort (586 Pi*ZZ, 239 Pi*SZ, 279 non-carriers) underwent a comprehensive clinical assessment. Associations were adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, diabetes and alcohol consumption.Among UK Biobank participants, Pi*ZZ individuals displayed the highest liver enzyme values, the highest occurrence of liver fibrosis/cirrhosis (adjusted OR (aOR)=21.7 (8.8-53.7)) and primary liver cancer (aOR=44.5 (10.8-183.6)). Subjects with Pi*MZ genotype had slightly elevated liver enzymes and moderately increased odds for liver fibrosis/cirrhosis (aOR=1.7 (1.2-2.2)) and cholelithiasis (aOR=1.3 (1.2-1.4)). Individuals with homozygous Pi*S mutation (Pi*SS genotype) harboured minimally elevated alanine aminotransferase values, but no other hepatobiliary abnormalities. Pi*SZ participants displayed higher liver enzymes, more frequent liver fibrosis/cirrhosis (aOR=3.1 (1.1-8.2)) and primary liver cancer (aOR=6.6 (1.6-26.9)). The higher fibrosis burden was confirmed in a multinational cohort. Male sex, age ≥50 years, obesity and the presence of diabetes were associated with significant liver fibrosis.Our study defines the hepatobiliary phenotype of individuals with the most relevant AATD genotypes including their predisposition to liver tumours, thereby allowing evidence-based advice and individualised hepatological surveillance.
Malin Fromme, Carolin V Schneider, Vitor Pereira, Karim Hamesch, Monica Pons, Matthias C Reichert, Federica Benini, Paul Ellis, Katrine H Thorhauge, Mattias Mandorfer, Barbara Burbaum, Vivien Woditsch, Joanna Chorostowska-Wynimko, Jef Verbeek, Frederik Nevens, Joan Genesca, Marc Miravitlles, Alexa Nuñez, Benedikt Schaefer, Heinz Zoller, Sabina Janciauskiene, Nélia Abreu, Luís Jasmins, Rui Gaspar, Catarina Gomes, Kai Markus Schneider, Michael Trauner, Aleksander Krag, Bibek Gooptu, Douglas Thorburn, Aileen Marshall, John R Hurst, David A Lomas, Frank Lammert, Nadine T Gaisa, Virginia Clark, William Griffiths, Christian Trautwein, Alice M Turner, Noel G McElvaney, Pavel Strnad