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Chapter: Medical Immunology: Diagnosis of Immunodeficiency Diseases

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Diagnostic Evaluation of Complement Function

Complement deficiencies are usually screened by assays of complement activity, such as the CH50 assay.

DIAGNOSTIC EVALUATION OF COMPLEMENT FUNCTION

Complement deficiencies are usually screened by assays of complement activity, such as the CH50 assay. A low value on a CH50 assay indicates that there is an abnormality some-where along the classical pathway. Quantitative assays for individual complement compo-nents can be used to pinpoint the exact component that is deficient in any particular patient.

MOLECULAR GENETIC STUDIES

The notable progress that has taken place in the last decade in our understanding of the molecular basis of several immune deficiency diseases has resulted in the fact that in most cases definitive diagnosis requires identification of the genetic abnormality in each individual patient.

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