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Uncontrolled alternative pathway activation is the primary driver of several diseases, and it contributes to the pathogenesis of many others. Consequently, diagnostic tests to monitor this arm of the complement system are increasingly important. Defects in alternative pathway regulation are strong risk factors for disease, and drugs that specifically block the alternative pathway are entering clinical use. A range of diagnostic tests have been developed to evaluate and monitor the alternative pathway, including assays to measure its function, expression of alternative pathway constituents, and activation fragments. Genetic studies have also revealed many disease-associated variants in alternative pathway genes that predict the risk of disease and prognosis. Newer imaging modalities offer the promise of non-invasively detecting and localizing pathologic complement activation. Together, these various tests help in the diagnosis of disease, provide important prognostic information, and can help guide therapy with complement inhibitory drugs. © 2022 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Joshua M Thurman, Veronique Fremeaux-Bacchi. Alternative pathway diagnostics. Immunological reviews. 2023 Jan;313(1):225-238

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PMID: 36305168

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