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Improving adherence to alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency screening guidelines using the pulmonary function laboratory

Authors Luna Diaz LV, Iupe I, Zavala B, Balestrini KC, Guerrero A, Holt G, Calderon-Candelario R, Mirsaeidi M, Campos M

Received 7 June 2017

Accepted for publication 5 July 2017

Published 31 July 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 2257—2259


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Landy V Luna Diaz,1 Isabella Iupe,1 Bruno Zavala,1 Kira C Balestrini,1 Andrea Guerrero,1 Gregory Holt,1,2 Rafael Calderon-Candelario,1,2 Mehdi Mirsaeidi,1,2 Michael Campos1,2

1Miami Veterans Administration Medical Center, Miami, FL, 2Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is the only well-recognized genetic disorder associated with an increased risk of emphysema and COPD.1 Identifying AATD allows genetic counseling and the chance to offer specific augmentation therapy to slow emphysema progression. Despite specific recommendations from the World Health Organization, American Thoracic Society and European Respiratory Society to screen all patients with COPD and other at-risk conditions,2–4 testing rates are low (<15%).5
We conducted a project to improve AATD screening at the Miami VA Medical Center using the pulmonary function test (PFT) laboratory. We instructed the PFT personnel to perform reflex testing on all patients with pre-bronchodilator airflow obstruction (forced expiratory volume in 1 second/forced vital capacity <70%) and then evaluated if the screening was appropriate according to guidelines. Trained PFT personnel explained AATD disease to patients and provided them with an informational brochure. After obtaining verbal consent, AATD screening was performed using dried blood spot kits provided by the Alpha-1 Foundation as part of the Florida Screening Program (noncommercial).6 The PFT lab director was the responsible physician of record, in charge of discussing positive results to patients and documenting results in the electronic medical record. The Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center Institutional Review Board approved the protocol as a quality improvement project.

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