A comparison of radial immunodiffusion and functional (hemolytic) assays for C4 revealed a highly significant correlation between the two methods in patients with a variety of immunologic disorders. Immunodiffusion technics are more convenient than hemolytic assays for most clinical laboratories. C4 assays are useful for the presumptive diagnosis of hereditary angioneurotic edema, whereas C3 is usually normal in such patients. C4 is usually more sensitive than C3 in a variety of immunologic disorders, although in some patients the opposite is true, especially in hypocomplementemic nephritis.
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