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Test Details
Test Code:PL0229
Test Name:C 1 Esterase Inhibitor Quantitative
Test Details & Preparation
Your immune system protects the body from bacteria and viruses. One of the ways it does this is by producing antibodies. Another way is through the innate immune system. The innate immune system can respond to threats before antibodies are formed. The complement system is part of the innate immune system. It consists of a set of nine proteins numbered C1 through C9. They help your body recognize foreign cells that may cause disease. Blood tests can be used to check your complement protein levels. One such test is the C1 esterase inhibitor or C1-INH test. The C1-INH test can determine if you don’t have enough C1-INH. Deficiencies may indicate a health problem.

Your doctor may order the C1-INH test if you have unexplained inflammation or swelling (edema). It may also be ordered for symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), such as fatigue, fever, joint swelling, pain, or stiffness, a rash over the bridge of the nose that looks like a butterfly, skin lesions, chest pain, dry eyes, headaches, changes in mental status, including memory loss or shortness of breath. The C1-INH test can also monitor treatment of autoimmune diseases, such as SLE or hereditary angioedema.

There is no special preparation needed for the C1-INH test. The test is performed on a blood sample. A nurse or technician will take your blood using a needle. Your blood will be collected in a tube and sent to a lab for analysis. Once the results are available, your doctor will explain them to you.

The results of your test may vary depending on the laboratory used. Talk to your doctor about your specific results. In general, normal levels of C1-INH range from 16 to 33 milligrams per decilitre. If your C1-INH levels are lower than normal this may indicate recurring bacterial infections, SLE, acquired angioedema, kidney diseases, such as lupus nephritis, glomerulonephritis, or membranous nephritis, blood infection or malnutrition.

Low levels of C1-INH may indicate the presence of a health problem. However, this test alone will not provide a specific diagnosis. The C1-INH test must be used in conjunction with other blood tests. C1-INH levels may be increased if you have an ongoing infection. Treatment of the infection should bring your C1-INH levels back to normal.
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