CPT Code 86160 | Description & Clinical Information

CPT 86160 describes the laboratory procedure in which a technical test is conducted by a lab analyst to measure the levels of complement antigens, including C1 through C9, which play a crucial role in identifying and combating infections, as well as assessing autoimmune conditions and diseases that generate antibodies against the body’s own cells and tissues.

Official Description

The CPT book defines CPT code 86160 as: “Complement; antigen, each component”.

Clinical Information

The procedure described by CPT code 86160 involves analyzing serum, plasma or body fluids for complement antigens. These antigens are part of a complex system that plays a crucial role in activating immune responses to infections, amplifying those responses and ultimately destroying infectious material in the body.

The lab analyst responsible for this procedure must perform all necessary technical steps to carry out the analysis accurately. One common method used in complement antigen testing is immunologic quantitation by radial immunodiffusion (RID). This involves using antibody antigen complexes that form precipitates in an agar gel to measure the levels of complement antigens in the samples being tested.

Another method that may be used in complement antigen testing is immunonephelometry, which combines antibody antigen reactions with light scatter measurement. Both of these methods provide valuable information about the levels and activity of complement antigens in a patient’s body.

There are a number of conditions that can affect the levels of complement antigens in the body. For example, decreased levels may be seen in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or chronic hepatitis, while increased levels may be associated with cancer or acute myocardial infarction.

While testing for complement antigens is not limited to specific conditions, clinicians often use it to monitor disease conditions in patients with SLE, rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune disorders. It may also be used in cases where patients have recurrent infections or edema, as part of the diagnostic process.

Overall, complement antigen testing is an important tool in the diagnosis and management of a wide range of medical conditions. By providing valuable information about the activity and levels of complement antigens in the body, it can help clinicians make more accurate diagnoses and develop more effective treatment strategies for their patients.

Return to all the CPT codes for qualitative or semiquantitative immunoassays.

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