Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is an inherited disorder that can cause lung disease in adults and liver disease in adults and children. Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) is a protein that protects the lungs. The liver usually makes the protein, and releases it into the bloodstream. Because of a gene problem, some people have little or none of it. Not having enough AAT puts you at risk of emphysema or liver problems. If you smoke, you increase your risk. Children with AAT deficiency can develop liver problems that last their whole lives.
The Liver and Transplant Center at St. Louis Children's Hospital provides diagnosis and treatment options for children with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.