Assessment of Patient Perspectives and Barriers to Self-Infusion of Augmentation Therapy for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jacob Colello, Anna Ptasinski, Xiang Zhan, Sundeep Kaur, Timothy Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is an autosomal co-dominant genetic condition that predisposes individuals to pulmonary and hepatic disease, and in severe cases is treated with augmentation by intravenous infusion. Our aim was to assess patient reluctance to transition to self-administered augmentation of alpha-1-antitrypsin, during the pandemic of SARS-CoV-2. Methods: A phone questionnaire was administered to 22 patients with severe alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency who were currently receiving AAT augmentation therapy. Inclusion criteria included patients ≥ 18 years old, diagnosed with AATD, and receiving intravenous AAT protein augmentation therapy. Information was gathered regarding demographics, perspectives on transitioning to self-administered treatment, and anxiety and depression prevalence. Results were collected anonymously using REDCap. Joint and marginal statistical analysis was done to quantify links between participants’ willingness to transition to self-infusion and correlations with sex, age, years of therapy, anxiety, and depression. Results: Of 22 patients, 14 were male and eight were female. Ages ranged from 36 to 79 years, with an average of 62.5. Genotypes were ZZ (14), MZ (3), and SZ (2) among others. Average length of intravenous augmentation was 9.5 years. The majority, 16 participants, were aware self-infusion was an option. Eight participants were willing to consider transitioning to self-infusion if trained and educated. Eight patients reported that fear of COVID-19 transmission influenced their decision-making. Above-normal anxiety, and depression scores, were found in four, and six patients, respectively. Neither sex, age, years of treatment, anxiety, or depression were found to be associated with willingness to consider self-infusion therapy. Conclusions: Although there are many reasons AATD patients may benefit from AAT self-infusion, including decreased exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the majority preferred home nurse-infused therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-103
Number of pages9
JournalPulmonary Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Respiratory Care


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