Total complement activity

Total complement activity is a test performed to assess the level of functioning of the complement system.

Complement tests
C4 (C) FB (A) C3 CH50 Conditions
 · PSG, C3 NeF AA
 ·  · HAE, C4D
 ·  ·  · TCPD
 · /↓ SLE
Total complement activity
Medical diagnostics

The terms "CH50"[1] or "CH100" may refer to this test. The test is based on the capacity of a serum to lyse sheep erythrocytes coated with anti-sheep antibodies (preferably rabbit IgG).

In combination with the Alternative pathway hemolytic assay ("AH50") it can indicate terminal pathway deficiencies (C3, C5-C9; absence of hemolysis in both CH50 and AH50), classic pathway deficiencies (C1, C2, C4; absence of lysis in CH50) and alternative pathway deficiencies (Factor I, B, H, D, properdin; absence of lysis in AH50).

Increased CH50 values may be seen in cancer or ulcerative colitis. Decreased CH50 values may be seen in cirrhosis or hepatitis[2] or Systemic lupus erythematosus.


  1. Michael T. Lotze; Angus W. Thomson (2005). Measuring immunity: basic biology and clinical assessment. Academic Press. pp. 151–. ISBN 978-0-12-455900-4. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  2. "Complement: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia". Retrieved 11 February 2017.

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