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Analyte: Complement Factor C4
Specimen Type: Serum, Inquire for additional option(s)
Optimum Volume: 0.5 mL
|6 days||1 month||2.5 years|
Reporting units: mg/dL
Biological or Clinical Significance:
The complement system can be activated via the classical and the alternative route. Complement factor C4 participates in activation by the classical route. A decrease in C4 is common, but complete absence is rare. A lowered concentration or the complete absence of C4 occurs in immunocomplex diseases, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), autoimmune thyroiditis and juvenile dermatomyositis.
Additional differentiation can be obtained by the determination of C4 when the level of complement factor C3 is low. If in such cases the protein concentration of C4 is normal, then an activation of the alternative route is likely. The main use of C4 determinations is in assessing the course of hypocomplement conditions. As an acute phase protein, C4 is produced to an increased extent during inflammatory processes. It is elevated in systemic infections, noninfectious chronic inflammatory conditions (primarily chronic polyarthritis) and physiological states (pregnancy).
Principle of Test Method:
The C4 assay is an automated immunoturbidimetric method.
1. Tsukamoto H, Horiuchi T. Clinical aspects of the complement system. Rinsho Byori. 2006 Jul;54(7):757-62.