A population of 98 healthy Black Americans was studied in order to determine normal ranges for total C4, C4A and C4B. Mean total C4 in Blacks measured by an enzyme- linked immunoassay (EIA) was 44 ± 12.8 mg/dl which was significantly different (p < 0.001) from Caucasian levels of 31.7 ± 11.5 mg/dl. The difference in total C4 was due to increased levels of C4B in Blacks (X = 24.4 mg/dl) as compared to Whites (X = 15.7 mg/dl; p < 0.001). These results remained significantly different even when 8 samples having the C4A 91 phenotype were excluded. Since El As using monoclonal antibodies with Ch1 specificity may yield false results, C4 allotyping is recommmended when quantitating C4A and C4B levels in Blacks.

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