The Complement Component C4c test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.
Description: The Complement Component C4 test is a blood test used to measure levels of Complement 4 in your blood’s serum as part of autoimmune disease testing.
Also Known As: C4 Test, Complement C4 Test, Complement Test
Collection Method: Blood Draw
Specimen Type: Serum
Test Preparation: Overnight fasting is preferred
When is a Complement Component C4c test ordered?
When a person exhibits inexplicable edema, inflammation, or indications of an autoimmune condition like SLE, complement testing may be mandated. It may also be requested when a medical professional wants to assess the complement system of a patient who they suspect may have an immune complex-related disease.
When the total complement activity is abnormal, individual complement components may be ordered to help identify which ones are lacking or defective. The most usually prescribed levels are C3 and C4, however when additional shortages are detected, other levels, such C1 inhibitor, may also be required. Because the relative levels are frequently significant, C3 and C4 are frequently ordered together.
Complement testing may be used to provide a general assessment of the severity of an acute or chronic ailment after a diagnosis, with the underlying supposition that the severity is related to the decline in complement levels. When a doctor wishes to track the progression of a problem, they could occasionally order complement testing.
What does a Complement Component C4c blood test check for?
More than 30 circulating blood proteins make up the intricate complement system, which functions to support inflammatory and immunological responses. Its main function is to eliminate invading infections like viruses and bacteria. When the body produces antibodies against its own tissues that it misinterprets as foreign, the complement system can also be activated. The amount or activity of complement proteins in the blood is measured by complement assays.
A component of the body's innate immune system is the complement system. The innate immune system is non-specific and rapid to react to external molecules, in contrast to the acquired immune system, which generates antibodies that target and defend against specific threats. It does not require prior exposure to an invasive drug or bacterium and does not keep track of prior interactions.
The primary complement proteins are numbered C1 through C9. There are nine of them. Together with the remaining proteins, these elements form complexes that react to infections, non-self tissues, dead cells, and inflammation by activating, amplifying, breaking apart, and generating cascades.
There are numerous strategies to start complement activation. These are known as lectin, alternative, or classical routes. However, the development of the membrane attack complex is the common result of all activation mechanisms. Several things happen as a result of complement activation:
- Each pathogen or aberrant cell that has been selected for eradication adheres to the surface thanks to the MAC. It produces lysis, or the demise of the cell by letting the contents out, much like puncturing a water-filled balloon, by creating a lesion in the membrane wall.
- It makes blood arteries more permeable, enabling white blood cells to go from the bloodstream and into the tissues to fight infections.
- WBCs are drawn to the infection site by it.
- It promotes the killing of germs by macrophages and neutrophils during phagocytosis, a process.
- It makes immune complexes more soluble and aids in their removal from the circulation.
The amount or activity of complement proteins in the blood is measured by complement assays. To ascertain whether the system is operating normally, complement components might be examined individually or collectively. The two complement proteins that are most routinely tested are C3 and C4. If a medical professional suspects a shortfall that cannot be detected by C3 or C4, total complement activity can be assessed. The function of the entire C1–C9 classical complement pathway is evaluated by CH50. Each of the nine complement levels can be measured separately to check for inherited or acquired deficits if this reading is outside the usual range.
Lab tests often ordered with a Complement Component C4c test:
- Complement Component C3c
- Sed Rate
- C-Reactive Protein
- Rheumatoid Factor
- ANA Screen
- Antibody Screen
Conditions where a Complement Component C4c test is recommended:
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Kidney disease
How does my health care provider use a Complement Component C4c test?
To ascertain whether shortages or anomalies in the complement system are the root cause of, or contribute to, a person's sickness or condition, complement assays, most frequently C3 and C4, are utilized.
What do my Complement Component C4c test results mean?
Increased consumption or, less frequently, a congenital deficit, can cause complement levels to drop. A high incidence of recurrent microbial infections is typically caused by a hereditary defect in one of the complement proteins. Reduced complement levels are linked to a higher risk of autoimmune disease development. While C3 alone is often low in septicemia and diseases brought on by fungus or parasites, like malaria, C3 and C4 levels are typically both decreased in SLE.
Complement levels will typically return to normal if the underlying acute or chronic ailment can be treated if the deficiency is brought on by one of these.
Complement activity may be reduced with:
- Kidney Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
During acute or chronic inflammation, complement protein levels typically rise together with those of other unrelated proteins known as acute phase reactants. When the underlying illness is treated, all of these often return to normal. Comparatively to the frequently ordered C-reactive protein, complement proteins are less frequently measured in these circumstances, hence the value of their measurement in these circumstances is not discussed here.
Increased complement activity include can be seen with:
- Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Acute Myocardial Infarction
We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.