Simple Blood Tests for Alpha-1 Emphysema
Alpha-1 antitrypsin is a protein in the blood that it is produced in liver cells. When you don’t have enough of this protein, it may result in Alpha-1 Emphysema. If you have developed your lung problems at an early age, you and members of your family should be tested to see if you have the deficiency. Proponents believe every person with lung problems should be tested.
According to University of Florida researchers, “Diagnosis for the genetic form of emphysema is made by a simple blood test. Three programs offer this testing at no charge.
State of Florida Alpha-1 Detection Program: The State of Florida and the Alpha-1 Foundation have sponsored this detection program since 1999. The program focuses on targeted population screening, patient and physician education, and treatment programs for AAT Deficiency. To order a free test kit, call the University of Florida Alpha-1 Research Program toll-free at 1-800-559-5706.
Talecris Biotherapeutics Alpha-1 Detection Program: Talecris Biotherapeutics is supporting a nationwide targeted detection program for Alpha-1. Test kits and laboratory processing are provided to pulmonary clinics and at-risk patients free of charge. To obtain a Talecris Alpha-1 test kit, call 1-800-562-7222.
Alpha-1 Coded Testing (ACT) Trial: The Medical University of South Carolina is currently conducting a research study which evaluates perceived risks and benefits of genetic testing. The Alpha-1 Coded Testing (ACT) Trial offers free and confidential finger-stick testing for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. The test can be completed at home and results are mailed to the participant’s home. Anyone can request to be tested. Participants or the participant’s guardian must submit a short pre- and post-test questionnaire. For more information, visit https://www.alpha1.org/Newly-Diagnosed/Learning-about-Alpha-1/Testing-for-Alpha-1 or call 1-877-886-2383.
The finger stick collection system utilized by these programs requires only a small prick to the finger and a few drops of blood on the test card. The sample is sent to the lab for processing and results are typically ready in two weeks.
For questions regarding any of these programs, call 1-866-284-2708 or [email protected] To learn more about the disease, visit www.alphanet.org to see the Big Fat Reference Guide and Skinny Little Reference Guides.