Tests Required

Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) level and/or phenotype. In some cases, the AAT level may have been measured previously. This information should be provided on the form to accompany the blood sample.


Who Should be Tested?

The World Health Organisation (WHO), American Thoracic Society (ATS), and European Respiratory Society (ERS) together recommend the following cohorts for screening;

•             COPD, regardless of age or smoking history

•             Severe, non-responsive/refractory asthma

•             Cryptogenic liver disease

•             All first-degree relatives of known Alphas

•             Individuals with reduced serum levels of AAT

•             Panniculitis


Sample Requirements

We require 1 serum or plasma sample – the minimum volume required is 3.0 mls. The blood sample should be carefully labelled with name, DOB, etc. and sent to:

Alpha One Foundation, RCSI Smurfit Building,Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9.


What Happens Next

The blood sample can be sent directly to the Alpha One Foundation where the test is performed. Results of the test are then returned to the requesting doctor in approximately 2 weeks.

 Should you have any further questions please contact us on 01-8093871 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

What is Alpha-1 Antitrypsin?
Alpha-1 antitrypsin is a vital protein produced by the liver to protect the lungs. It provides protection from the harmful effects of infections and inhaled irritants, particularly tobacco smoke. It can be easily measured by a simple blood test. 
What is Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency?
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (Alpha-1) is a genetic condition which, after cystic fibrosis, is the commonest genetic disorder in Ireland. It severely affects more than 15,000 people, with another 250,000 carriers also at risk of lung and liver disease on the island of Ireland. It is a proven genetic risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
How Do I Get Tested?
The Alpha One Foundation provides free testing for Alpha-1 as part of a national screening programme which is funded by the HSE. For more details ring 01-8093871 or email alpha1@rcsi.ie.