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February 1977

Alpha1-antitrypsin Deficiency

Author Affiliations

Genoa, Italy

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(2):236. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640020108027

To the Editor.—  Alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency is a relatively common genetic defect: 1/1,500 persons are homozygous and 1/25 are carriers.1 Its discovery by Laurell and Eriksson2 unveiled new enzymatic aspects of the pathogenesis of emphysema3 and liver cirrhosis.4 Deficiencies in plasma protease inhibitors in urticaria were postulated by Duck et al5 and by Juhlin and Michaelsson,6 who showed that many patients with chronic urticaria gave abnormal reactions to kallikrein and bradykinin. Recently, Doeglas and Bleumink7 confirmed the significantly decreased levels of alpha1-antitrypsin and antichimotrypsin activities in patients with cold urticaria and acquired angioneurotic edema.Alpha1-antitrypsin, alpha2-macroglobulin, complement factor Cl esterase inhibitor, and B1 C were also measured by us in eight patients with angioneurotic edema and in ten with idiopathic chronic urticaria by means of the radial immunodiffusion technique. There were nine control subjects.Results were as follows:

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