This report describes a new, rapid, sensitive, and quantitative method for the detection of immune complexes, endotoxins, and other complement activating materials in patients sera utilizing the ability of these substances to react with isolated C1q. The procedure is based on the inhibition of radiolabeled C1q binding to sensitized sheep erythrocytes by C1q-reactive substances in pathological sera. The C1q deviation test may be performed on 50 mu1 of serum, using 1 mug of radiolabeled C1q per sample. The procedure may be completed in 1.5-2 h, it is capable of detecting 5 mug of aggregated human IgG per ml of serum, and its coefficient of variation is 4.2%. Application of the test to the study of 193 sera from 43 patients with Dengue hemorrhagic fever showed a positive correlation between degree of C1q deviation and severity of disease.