The Complement, Total (CH50) test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.
Description: The CH50 blood test is a screening test used to measure total complement activity in your blood’s serum.
Also Known As: CH50 Test, Total Complement Test, Complement Activity Test, Total Complement Activity Test
Collection Method: Blood Draw
Specimen Type: Serum
Test Preparation: No preparation required
When is a Complement Total 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.
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. Occasionally, a doctor may also request complement testing to keep track of the progression of a problem.
What does a Complement Total blood test check for?
Over 30 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. The body's production of antibodies against its own tissues, which occurs in autoimmune disorders, can also cause the complement system to become active. 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 produce complexes that react to infections, non-self tissues, dead cells, or inflammation by activating, amplifying, breaking apart, and generating complexes.
Lab tests often ordered with a Complement Total test:
- Sed Rate
- C-Reactive Protein
- Rheumatoid Factor
- ANA Screen
- Antibody Screen
Conditions where a Complement Total test is recommended:
- Liver Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Hemolytic Anemia
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosis
- Bacterial Endocarditis
- Hodgkin’s Disease
- Behcet’s Disease
How does my health care provider use a Complement Total test?
When a person has a disease or illness, complement tests are done to evaluate whether deficiencies or abnormalities in the complement system are the root cause or a contributing factor. In order to assess the overall integrity of the classical complement pathway, total complement activity may be ordered. To check for deficits, additional complement components are obtained if necessary.
What do my Complement Total test results mean?
It's possible for complement levels to drop as a result of greater intake or, less frequently, a congenital deficiency. 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.
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.
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 (CRP), complement proteins are less frequently assessed in these circumstances; hence, the value of their testing in these circumstances is not discussed here.
We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.