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Complement C4 Blood Test

This Complement C4 Blood Test measures the amount of Complement C4 protein in your blood. These proteins are part of your complement system, an important part of your immune system that helps kill bacteria and viruses causing disease.
Sample Report

Test Code: 001834

Also Known As: C4 ; C4 (β1E Globulin); C4 Complement; Fourth Complement Component

Methodology: Immunologic

Preparation: No special preparation required.

Test Results: 2-3 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday or lab delays.

Sample Report

Test Code: 353

Also Known As: C4 ; C4 (β1E Globulin); C4 Complement; Fourth Complement Component

Methodology: Immunoturbidimetric

Preparation: No special preparation required.

Test Results: 2-3 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday or lab delays.

Description

Complement C4 is a blood test which measures a certain protein's activity. This protein is part of the complement system. The complement system is a protein group that circulates freely through your bloodstream. The proteins work with your immune system and play a role in inflammation development. The complement system protects the body from infections, dead cells, and foreign material. 

The complement C4 test is one of the most widely used complement tests. This test is useful to individuals who experience symptoms typically indicative of an autoimmune disease, especially lupus. These symptoms may include:

  • muscle pain
  • muscle weakness
  • muscle paralysis
  • extreme fatigue
  • sudden, unexpected weight loss
  • joint pain

The complement C4 test is also sometimes used to monitor protein levels in people with autoimmune disease. Complement tests can provide valuable information on the efficacy of current autoimmune treatment. If you are treated for a disease such as lupus and your complement C4 level increases, it can be a sign that your treatment is working.

Your complement levels often dramatically increase immediately after an infection or injury. When your complement system is activated in response to ongoing diseases such as lupus, the levels generally decrease. 

You can inherit a deficiency in your complement C4, but an acquired deficiency is much more common. If only your C4 complement level is low and all other components are normal, it is usually due to a hereditary component deficiency.

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