Complement Total (CH50) Blood Test
A CH50 test is used to help determine any protein abnormalities and deficiencies in the complement system.
The Complement Total, or CH50 Blood Test, assesses the overall activity of the complement system, and mainly evaluates the classic complement activation pathway. A CH50 Blood Test is often ordered to evaluate complement component deficiency and evaluate complement activity in cases of immune complex disease, glomerulonephritis (inflammation of the kidneys’ filters), rheumatoid arthritis and cryoglobulinemia (abnormal proteins in the blood that thicken in cold temperatures). It can also be used to evaluate a patient’s response to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) therapy and predict disease flares.
A total complement measurement, also known as a total hemolytic complement or a CH50 measurement, checks how well the complement system is functioning.
This test is usually ordered for people with a family history of complement deficiency and those who have symptoms of:
- kidney disease
- lupus, which is a multisystem autoimmune disease
- myasthenia gravis
- an infectious disease, such as meningitis
- cryoglobulinemia, which is the presence of abnormal proteins in the blood
The significance of the Complement Blood Test is explained:
- Increased levels of complement may indicate:
- Acute-phase immune response
- Ulcerative colitis
- Heart attack (acute myocardial infarction)
- Decreased levels of complement may indicate:
- Acquired deficiency
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Severe trauma
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Membranous glomerulonephritis
- Liver disease or cirrhosis
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