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Alpha-1-Antitrypsin is a glycoprotein made by the liver which inhibits a wide variety of proteases. It protects tissues, specially the lungs, from enzymes of inflammatory cells. This test is ordered to help diagnose the cause of early onset emphysema, especially when a person does not have obvious risk factors such as smoking or exposure to lung irritants. It also helps in the diagnosis of persistent jaundice and other signs of liver dysfunction.
For alternative sample type, call the chemistry department.