Purpose: The SERPINA1 Z allele is associated with cystic fibrosis (CF)-related liver disease (CFLD), a common manifestation in patients with CF. We estimated CFLD incidence based on the SERPINA1 genotype in 3328 CF patients with CFLD-phenotype information.
Methods: The associations of SERPINA1 Z (rs28929474) and S (rs17580) alleles with age at CFLD onset and the development of CFLD-related complications (severe liver disease with cirrhosis, portal hypertension, esophageal varices) were analyzed.
Results: Overall, 3% of patients carried the SERPINA1 Z allele and 13% carried the S allele. The cumulative incidence of CFLD increased more rapidly in patients carrying the Z allele (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.1–2.4, P = 0.019), reaching 47% by age 25 compared with 30% in noncarriers. Increased risk was similar for patients with severe CFLD (HR = 1.5, 95% CI = 0.7–3.2, P = 0.31) but failed to reach significance due to a limited sample size of Z-allele carriers. No significant effect was found for the S allele.
Conclusion: CF patients carrying the SERPINA1 Z allele had an increased risk of developing CFLD and related complications compared with noncarriers. Routine SERPINA1 Z genotyping upon CF diagnosis is warranted for identifying patients worthy of closer liver disease monitoring.