1. Immediately after specimen collection, place the tube on wet ice.
2. Centrifuge and aliquot serum into plastic vial.
3. Freeze specimen within 30 minutes.
Abnormally low results are consistent with a heterozygous C1 esterase inhibitor deficiency and hereditary angioedema.
Fifteen percent of hereditary angioedema patients have a normal or elevated level but nonfunctional C1 esterase inhibitor protein. Detection of these patients requires a functional measurement of C1 esterase inhibitor; FC1EQ / C1 Esterase Inhibitor, Functional Assay, Serum.
Measurement of C1q antigen levels; C1Q / Complement C1q, Serum, is key to the differential diagnoses of acquired or hereditary angioedema. Those patients with the hereditary form of the disease will have normal levels of C1q, while those with the acquired form of the disease will have low levels.
Studies in children show that adult levels of C1 inhibitor are reached by 6 months of age.