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Complement, Component C1q, Serum

Serum C1q component is used to diagnose congenital and acquired C1 deficiency as well as in patients with very low total complement. The measurement of C1q is an indicator of the amount of C1 component.

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The complement system consists of a number of proteins that, when activated, serve to enhance an immune response. Complement proteins make up 10% of serum globules. Activation of the complement system leads to the destruction of potentially inflammatory mediators, facilitates opsonization and clearance of the particles, and can lead to the immediate dissolution of altered cells of the organism and its microorganisms. The complement system can be activated by numerous immune and non-immune stimuli. Activation of the complement occurs in either the classical way or the alternative way.  The components of C1-C1q, C1r, C1s, C2 and C4 are activated by the classical pathway, which is stimulated when an antigen-antibody reaction occurs. The components of the alternative pathway, C3, propertin and factor D, may be induced by mechanisms other than antigen-antibody reactions.

Concentrations of components C3 and C4 are most commonly used to evaluate the integrity of the classical and alternative pathways. Levels of other individual components of the complement can be used to monitor autoimmune activities and to identify genetic deficiencies of individual components.

Identifying the components of the complement helps diagnose the genetic defects of individual components and the diseases mediated by the immune system. Component C1q is higher in Alzheimer's disease, and component C4 is increased during occupational exposure to styrene. The determination of the components of the complement is also useful in acute vascular rejection, cerebral palsy, chronic renal failure, hereditary angioedema, xenograft rejection, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, common pemphigus.

The first component of the complement (C1) consists of 3 subunits called C1q, C1r and C1s. C1q recognizes and binds to the antigen-binding immunoglobulin and initiates the "cascade" of the complement. Congenital deficiencies of any of the original components of the supplement (C1, C2, C4) result in the inability to remove the immune complexes. C1 hereditary deficiency is rare. C1 deficiency is associated with an increased incidence of diseases from immune complexes (systemic lupus erythematosus, polymyositis, glomerulonephritis, purple Henoch-Schonlein).




Important Note

Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".

Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.

At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.

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