Complement receptor type 1 (CR1) is an integral membrane protein of many hematopoietic cells and is found in a soluble form in plasma. Preliminary data have indicated that soluble complement receptor 1 (sCR1) levels in serum were increased in patients with cirrhosis. In this study, sCR1 was measured in patients with various liver diseases with a newly established enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). sCR1 level was elevated in chronic active hepatitis C (24 patients, 62.6 ± 31 ng/ML; 31 normal controls, 31.4 ± 7.8 ng/mL, P < .001), and in cirrhosis (35 patients, 143.7 +/- 61 ng/mL, P < .001). The levels increased transiently in 3 patients who had amanita phalloides intoxication. In 25 patients with advanced cirrhosis (pretransplantation screening), there were significant inverse correlations between sCR1 and both the prothrombin index (rs = -.60, P < .002) and the aminopyrine breath test (rs = -.51, P < .01). Following liver transplantation, the levels dropped from 166 ± 70 to 49 ± 24 ng/mL (P < .0001), and serial measurements in the posttransplantation period showed a correlation with liver dysfunction, regardless of etiology. Since CR1 is not produced by hepatocytes, the most likely explanation for the increased level of sCR1 is reduced is reduced catabolism. Thus, sCR1 may be added to the short list of large glycoproteins that accumulate in liver disease.