This test is used to detect hereditary decreases in the production of alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT). AAT is responsible for inactivating endoproteases (protein catabolic enzymes). Decreased or nearly absent levels of AAT can be a factor in chronic obstructive lung disease and liver disease. Elevated levels can also be an indication of inflammatory states (eg, rheumatoid arthritis, bacterial infection, vasculitis, neoplasia).
This test may be done fasting or 2-6 hours after eating. Both ways provide valuable information, though 2-6 hours after a meal provides a more realistic assessment of the state of your blood in everyday life. Stay hydrated and take your medications as prescribed.
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