Methodological considerations

Limitations with determination of C3 and C4

There are a number of clinical situations where assessment of complement function is relevant. In many cases merely the level of C3 and C4 is measured immunochemically, as it is assumed that the concentrations of these complement components reflect the overall functionality of the complement system.

This view is oversimplification since simple determination of the levels of C3 and C4 is associated with serious limitations.

Thus, single determination of the serum concentrations of C3 and C4, may not truthfully reflect overall complement function. In contrast, functional assays of the complement activation pathways such as the Svar Life Science complement ELISA, based on quantifying the formation of the Membrane Attack Complex, will reflect all the different steps in the complement activation pathways and hence the function. 

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