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Clin Exp Immunol. 1982 Jun;48(3):747-53.

Correlation in rheumatoid arthritis of concentrations of plasma C3d, serum rheumatoid factor, immune complexes and C-reactive protein with each other and with clinical features of disease activity.


The concentrations of C3d in the plasma and of C-reactive protein (CRP), immune complexes and rheumatoid factor in the serum were measured in 99 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Most patients had raised levels, the values of which correlated with disease activity assessed according to a newly described index based on multivariate analysis of subjective, semi-objective and objective features of the disease. There were also significant correlations between the values for plasma C3d and circulating immune complexes, immune complexes and rheumatoid factor, serum CRP and immune complexes, and serum CRP and plasma C3d. Measurement of plasma C3d provides a useful means of detecting in vivo complement activation, which may be involved in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis, but neither C3d levels nor any of the other variables correlated as closely with disease activity as did the serum CRP concentration.

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