A high incidence of raised levels of circulating immune complexes has found in a group of patients with idiopathic vasculitis. Serial measurements in 8 patients with systemic vasculitis showed a good correlation between clinical status and circulating immune complex levels. Some correlation existed between the constituents of circulating and tissue-bound complexes in 6 patients so studied. However, there was no correlation between apparent organ involvement and hypocomplementaemia and the levels of size of circulating immune complexes. It is concluded that the measurement of circulating immune complexes may be clinically useful in vasculitis, but that no direct evidence is yet available that they are pathogenetically related to those which are tissue-bound.
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