Reports of low pericardial-fluid complement levels in systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis have been difficult to interpret, as few data are available to describe complement concentrations in patients without pericardial disease. The authors therefore determined normal values under standardized conditions of collection, storage, and assay. The normal ranges for pericardial-fluid C3, C4, and total hemolytic complement were 35-127 mg/dl, 6.3-23 mg/dl, and 1.9-9.1 CH50 units, respectively. Storage at -20 C resulted in a 50% reduction in values. Hence, storage at -70 C is recommended. As the level of pericardial-fluid total hemolytic complement is normally low, caution is needed in interpreting its apparent reduction in various immunologic diseases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine