A 24-year old man with persistent progressive breathlessness: early onset COPD.

Respiratory conditions
  • COPD
Respiratory topics
  • Disease management
  • Diagnosis
Type of resource
Peer-reviewed article
Gupta PP, Agarwal D


We describe the case of a 24-year old male who had been a heavy smoker since the age of 9 and who presented with an 8-year history of respiratory symptoms. He was having treatment for asthma. Spirometric studies and high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) scans confirmed COPD with centrilobular emphysema. His blood level of alpha-1-antitrypsin was within the normal range. Early onset emphysema in smokers with a normal alpha-1-antitrypsin has been previously described. However, this case is, as far as we know, one of the youngest cases ever reported.