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CME: Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD): improving treatment and reducing barriers to care


Activity Description / Statement of Need:

In this online CME self-learning program:


Alpha 1-antitrypsin (AAT) is a serine protease inhibitor produced in the liver which is responsible for protecting the lungs by inhibiting neutrophil elastase, an enzyme that destroys connective tissue within the lung. Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is a genetic disorder in which diminished concentrations of AAT result in the eventual degradation of alveoli, reducing pulmonary elastic recoil and airflow. Breakdown of the alveoli eventually manifest as emphysema or other forms of chronic lung disease. Other complications associated with AATD include liver disease, panniculitis, and vasculitis. The most common cause of death in patients with AATD is respiratory failure which accounts for 45 to 72% of deaths. Smoking, occupational hazards such as firefighting, and high levels of cumulative exposure to pollution accelerate the rate of lung function decline in people with AATD. AATD is estimated to affect one out of every 2,000 to 5,000 individuals,  mainly of North European or Iberian ancestry. In sum, the disease is thought to affect approximately 190,000 people worldwide.





  • Faculty introduction, disclosures
  • Pre-course case
  • What is AAT?
  • When should you suspect and how do you test for AAT deficiency
  • Indications to initiate augmentation therapy
  • When to refer for lung transplant
  • Long term outcomes
  • Augmentation therapy after lung transplant

Target Audience:

The following healthcare professionals: pulmonologists and primary care physicians; physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and pharmacists who practice in pulmonology and internal medicine; and any other healthcare professionals with an interest in or who clinically encounter patients with AATD.

This program is supported by an educational grant from Grifols

Release Date: June 26, 2017 -- Expiration Date: June 26, 2019

Faculty: Terese Hammond, MD


Learning Objectives

By the end of the session the participant will be able to:

  • Describe the pathophysiology of AATD and how it impacts treatment of the disorder
  • Assess the clinical significance of AATD laboratory results and apply them to (a) patient case(s)
  • Describe the clinical presentation of patients with A1ATD and, given a patient case, formulate a treatment plan
  • Recall barriers to care for AATD and its clinical management in current practice



Faculty Disclosure and Resolution of COI

 As a provider of continuing medical education, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all of its educational activities. In accordance with this policy, faculty and educational planners must disclose any significant relationships with commercial interests whose products or devices may be mentioned in faculty presentations, and any relationships with the commercial supporter of the activity. The intent of this disclosure is to provide the intended audience with information on which they can make their own judgments. Additionally, in the event a conflict of interest (COI) does exist, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure that the COI is resolved in order to ensure the integrity of the CME activity. For this CME activity, any COI has been resolved thru content review ScientiaCME.


Faculty Disclosure:  Terese Hammond, MD has no relevant conflicts of interest to disclose.


Disclosures of Educational Planners: Charles Turck, PharmD has no relevant conflicts of interest to disclose.


Commercial Support Disclosure: This program is supported by an educational grant from Grifols


  • Read the learning objectives above
  • Take the Pre-Test (optional). Completion of the pre-test will help us evaluate the knowledge gained by participating in this CME activity.
  • View the online activity. You may view this is in more than one session, and may pause or repeat any portion of the presentation if you need to.
  • Minimum participation threshold: Take the post-test. A score of 70% or higher is required to pass and proceed to the activity evaluation.
  • Complete the activity evaluation and CME registration. A CE certificate will be emailed to you immediately.

Cultural/Linguistic Competence & Health Disparities

System Requirements

Windows 7 or above
Internet Explorer 8
*Adobe Acrobat Reader
Mac OS 10.2.8
Safari or Chrome or Firefox
*Adobe Acrobat Reader
Internet Explorer is not supported on the Macintosh

*Required to view Printable PDF Version

Perform Pre-Test (optional)

Please take a few minutes to participate in the optional pre-test. It will help us measure the knowledge gained by participating in this activity.

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Primary Immunodeficiency: Updates to Screening & Treatment

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Systemic Sclerosis Interstitial Lung Disease (SSc-ILD): Optimizing Treatment Strategies