The Complement Total or CH50 blood test is a test for the immunity system. The CH50 test assesses the functions of the complement system of the blood. The test evaluates the classic complement activation pathway. The doctor will suggest the CH50 blood test when he suspects an immune disease in your body. The tests are done to check for complement activity and complement component deficiency. The CH50 test checks for complex diseases like glomerulonephritis or rheumatoid arthritis. The test can monitor changes during cryoglobulinemia.
What is the complement system and CH50 test?
The Complement system was discovered by Jules Bordet as a heat-labile component of the plasma of blood. Complement is used for the opsonization and killing of bacteria. The complement system holds more than 20 proteins responsible for immunologic activities. The complements circulate in the blood and body fluids. Most of these proteins become very active when they encounter molecules from pathogenic microorganisms. The complement system reacts during inflammation in the body and in case of an infection. The complement system also reacts during an incompatible blood transfusion and a damaged immunity system. The Ch50 test is, therefore, a very important test to detect the immunologic functions of the body. People who suffer from systemic lupus erythematosus are also recommended the Ch50 test to check the response toward therapy and medication.
When is the Ch50 test done?
The Ch50 test is recommended for people who have a medical history of complement system deficiency. The Ch50 test is recommended after looking at the family and medical history of the patient. Some symptoms can also need a Ch50 test for immunologic testing. The symptoms include-
- Rheumatic arthritis– Rheumatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the complement system and weakens it. The Ch50 test is done to detect this disease.
- Kidney diseases– For kidney diseases, you need the Ch50 test to check whether your immunity system is working properly.
- Lupus– Lupus is a health condition that affects different systems of the body. The disease can attack the complement system, which the Ch50 test diagnoses.
- A severe infectious disease– A severe infectious disease that causes widespread inflammation can be very difficult to track and accurately diagnose. In case of such a disease, you need a Ch50 test.
- Cryoglobulinemia- Cryoglobulinemia can lead to the development of an abnormal level of proteins in the body. Cryoglobulinemia can lead to dysfunction of the complement system, which can be tested with the Ch50 test.
The complement system might get depressed with genetic defects and other health issues. The increased level of complement in the blood can mean a lot of things. For example, you can detect conditions like acute phase immune response, cancer, ulcerative colitis, and heart attack. The increased level of complement cells can also show acute inflammatory response in the body.
What happens during the Ch50 test?
The most commonly tested proteins from the complement system are C3 and C4. However, all the complement systems are tested by the Ch50 test. The CH50 test happens with the blood sample collected by phlebotomists. The test is done by drawing a blood sample from the patient with a sterile needle. The sample is sent to the lab for analysis. It is advisable to get the test done from a reputed lab for accurate results. The Ch50 test cost is between Rupees 4000 and 5000. Since the CH50 test is done to check for autoimmune diseases and inflammatory diseases, it is a very crucial test.
What are the risks of the Ch50 test?
The Ch50 test has very few risks. However, some of these are:
- Excessive bleeding- when the intravenous syringe is used to take out a blood sample, then you will feel a pricking sensation. However, in very rare cases, it can cause excessive bleeding.
- Light-headedness- The loss of blood and the extraction process can cause light-headedness in some people.
- Infection- the use of a clean and sterile syringe can avoid the risk of infection.
Depending on the results of the Ch50 test, the doctor may consider other tests to confirm diagnoses. The doctor decides the treatment approach after considering all test results. If the person suffers from an autoimmune disease, the treatment can be complex and long-term. The test is also done to monitor the recovery of an immune system after a cardiac arrest or an inflammation.
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