familial emphysema

fa·mil·i·al em·phy·se·ma

emphysema inherited in association with severe α-1 antitrypsin deficiency. It may occur as an isolated feature [MIM*130700, 130710] or with cutis laxa and hemolytic anemia [MIM*235360].
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
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People with familial emphysema have a hereditary deficiency of a blood component, alpha-l-protease inhibitor, also called alpha-l-antitrypsin (AAT).
The elastase-AAT imbalance is thought to be a result of the effects of smoking, rather than inherited as in familial emphysema. Some evidence for this theory comes from studies on the effect of tobacco smoke on lung cells.
Because familial emphysema results from a deficiency of AAT in affected individuals, efforts to minimize the risk of emphysema have been directed at increasing the circulating AAT levels either by promoting or increasing the production of AAT within the individual, or augmenting it from the outside.
its technical name is "alpha 1-antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency-related emphysema." it is also sometimes called "early onset emphysema" or "familial emphysema" because it can appear when a person is as young as 30 or 40 years old and runs in families.
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