AIMS--To make a preliminary assessment of the clinical relevance of serum vitronectin concentrations in various disease groups, using a recently available commercial radial immunodiffusion kit. METHODS--Serum vitronectin concentrations were measured in 80 control subjects and 144 patients with various diseases. The following characteristics were used to evaluate the test procedures: linearity of method, inter- and intrabatch precision, effect of storage, temperature and in vitro activation of the classical and alternative complement pathways on vitronectin concentrations. RESULTS--Significantly reduced serum vitronectin concentrations were found in patients with liver disease, renal disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (normal C3 and C4 concentrations, when compared with normal subjects. This particular method was suitable for measuring vitronectin concentrations in serum samples provided they were stored at -20 degrees C. CONCLUSIONS--The clinical value of measuring serum vitronectin seems to be limited, but a larger study may be justified to ascertain the clinical importance of reduced serum vitronectin concentrations in liver diseases, and the possible role of vitronectin in other disease processes.
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