Our offer to you

We offer all patients with AAT deficiency a comprehensive testing of liver function.  We are happy to test your family members for presence of this hereditary disease and the associated liver involvement (for further information on blood tests see: https://www.alpha1.org/Newly-Diagnosed/Learning-about-Alpha-1/Testing-for-Alpha-1). All patients are being cared for by physicians with both clinical and scientific experience in AAT deficiency, ideally on a long-term basis. You will be informed about the latest research findings and registered in our patient studies if you should be interested.

In our role as a supra-regional liver centre, we offer a comprehensive spectrum of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Besides testing of basic liver function, we examine your liver for presence of additional disorders such as viral hepatitis, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and many more.  We offer specialised ultrasound examinations such as FibroScan® that were designed to measure liver stiffness. This enables us to non-invasively detect the extent of liver scarring (so-called liver fibrosis). As a part of our study we can offer you this procedure, which is not covered by statutory health insurance, free of charge. In addition, selected patients (based both on availability and medical need) are offered further specialised non-invasive examinations to determine the degree of liver fibrosis even more precisely.  Each patient receives a comprehensive and cost-free written analysis of its individual risk of developing liver damage. If we detect a significant liver damage, the options for further diagnostic work-up and treatment are discussed in a consultation. When appropriate, we get in touch with other involved physicians to coordinate further treatment.  In many cases, a relief can be provided and thereafter only control check-ups are needed.

Details about measurement of liver stiffness by specialised ultrasound can be found here:

Body analysis via bioimpedance:

 

One of our latest acquisitions is a mobile ‘Body Analyzer’. Now we are able to easily determine your body composition including the amount of muscle, fat and water.

 

To obtain that, you will be assessed for around 30 seconds by electrodes on your hands and feet while lying on a bed. After that, the instrument immediately shows a descriptive data analysis including the amount of muscles in arms and legs or  the amount of visceral fat (so called “belly fat”). These data can be used to plan your individual weight reduction or muscle buildup.

 

The feedback from the study participants has been so far really positive. In the long run, one of our aims is to clarify whether patients with alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency differ in their body composition from patients with normal alpha1-antitrypsin levels. Thereby we want to learn more about the metabolic changes occurring in individuals with alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency.  

 

We hope that our study participants will enjoy and benefit from this new examination method and we are looking forward to our next examination dates.

Cooperation with other disciplines

To assess a possible disease manifestation in other organs, we closely cooperate with the respective specialist centres. Together with our patients, we search for the best individual solutions.

Please contact us if you have questions of any kind. If you are planning to travel to Aachen (Germany) and speak a language other than German, we will be happy to help you with appropriate interpreters and translations.

Up-to-date information regarding our study can be found in this flyer.

Our services at a glance:

  • High levels of clinical and scientific expertise, particularly  on α1-antitrypsin deficiency (European Reference Network)
  • Long-term and interdisciplinary care (e.g. with specialist lung centres)
  • Evaluation of liver scaring and steatosis with modern, non-invasive methods (free of charge)
  • Testing for presence of additional liver disorders or risk factors and their complications (full spectrum of diagnostic procedures and treatment)
  • A possibility to participate in research studies and innovative examination procedures, free of Charge
  • Improved care (e.g. introduction to patient advocacy groups)
  • Long-term care for patients with any health insurance plan
  • Investigation of family members for all patients with AAT -deficiency