RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, P.H.S.
Enhanced phenotypic expression of alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency in an MZ heterozygote with chronic hepatitis C.
A middle-aged white man of Scotch-Irish ancestry, being treated for chronic hepatitis C, was found to be heterozygous for alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency (PiMZ phenotype) after diagnostic PAS-positive, diastase-resistant globules were detected in a liver biopsy. The globules had not been present in a biopsy obtained 4 yr previously. He was also found to be heterozygous for the cys282tyr mutation of the HFE gene, which is the chief cause of HLA-linked hereditary hemochromatosis (HHC). His liver disease progressed over 4 yr from mild hepatitis to moderate hepatitis with cirrhosis despite therapy with interferon-alpha, and phlebotomy plus interferon. These conditions appeared to have synergistic effects, with the chronic viral hepatitis unmasking the alpha1AT deficiency, and the alpha1AT deficiency (and possibly the heterozygosity for HHC), exacerbating the course of the hepatitis C.
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