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Elevated serum IgG4 levels are an important hallmark for diagnosing IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD) but can also be found and reported in other diseases. The present study intended to compare the serum IgG4 levels in both IgG4-RD and non-IgG4-RD and determine the serum IgG4 levels in patients with IgG4-RD before and after glucocorticoid therapy.The study included 323 patients from Anhui Medical University Affiliated Provincial Hospital (China) and was conducted from July 2014-January 2016. A total of 25 patients were eventually diagnosed as having IgG4-RD, according to the IgG4-RD diagnostic criteria. Our study also included 108 patients with connective tissue disease, 94 patients with pancreatic lesions, 66 patients with bile duct lesions, 13 patients with carcinoma of the duodenal papilla and 20 control participants. The assay for serum IgG4 detection was peformed using the nephelometric method.Elevated levels of serum IgG4 (>1.35 g/L) were detected in all patients with IgG4-RD, and reduced levels of serum IgG4 (<1.35 g/L) were found in all patients with non-IgG4-RD. The serum IgG4 level in patients with IgG4-RD after glucocorticoid therapy was significantly lower than that before glucocorticoid therapy (t = 2.426, P = 0.04).High levels of IgG4 were observed in IgG4-RD. However, a diagnosis of IgG4 disease can not only be dependent on the detection of elevated serum IgG4 levels but also may need clinical manifestations, serology, histopathology and other comprehensive information for verification.