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Doctor insights on: C3 And C4 Complement Levels

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Have borderline low C3 and C4 complement levels and low 1:80 titre positive ANA speckled. With symptoms relating to sle and sjorgrens - atypical ?

Have borderline low C3 and C4 complement levels and low 1:80  titre positive ANA speckled. With symptoms relating to sle and sjorgrens - atypical ?

Atypical for what?: Rheumatic disease generally requires a cluster of suggestive symptoms which is supported by lab studies. I do not know your symptoms, but your labs are not particularly suggestive of anything. ...Read more

Dr. Eric Weisman
22 doctors shared insights

Complement Levels (Definition)

Total complement activity (CH50, CH100) looks at the overall activity of the complement system. Typically, other tests that are more specific for the suspected disease are performed first. C3 and C4 are the most commonly measured complement components. A complement test may be used to monitor patients with an autoimmune disorder and to see if treatment for their condition is working. For example, patients with active lupus erythematosus may have lower-than-normal levels of the complement ...Read more


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Have borderline low C3 and C4 complement levels and low 1:80 titre positive ANA speckled. With symptoms relating to sle and sjorgrens - atypical ?

Atypical for what?: Rheumatic disease generally requires a cluster of suggestive symptoms which is supported by lab studies. I do not know your symptoms, but your labs are not particularly suggestive of anything. ...Read more

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My C4 complement level is low and C3 complement is at the low end of the range (90, ref range 90-180). What could this mean?

May be significant : Low Complement levels may be nonspecific markers for autoimmune disorders. Other symptoms and clinical findings are needed to be able to adequately answer your question. ...Read more

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I have normal levels of complement C2 and c4. C3 level is low. Ch50 is high-normal(57 u/ml)-(all are serum tests)-what are the possible causes?

I have normal levels of complement C2 and c4.  C3 level is low.  Ch50 is high-normal(57 u/ml)-(all are serum tests)-what are the possible causes?

Labwork: Proper medicine would be not to treat lab values but the patient. Based on the lab values you provided it is impossible to suggest any kind of diagnosis. We would need to know your presentation and other labwork that was done in order to help you sort it out. ...Read more

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Can you have a normal ch50 (total complement) blood test result, but still have low C3 and/or C4 levels?...Or would low C3 or C4 show up on ch50 test?

Can you have a normal ch50 (total complement) blood test result, but still have low C3 and/or C4 levels?...Or would low C3 or C4 show up on ch50 test?

CH50: Ch50 measures the terminal or classical pathway. Deficiency of this test requires further investigation. Low C3 and C4 levels suggest activation of the classical pathway.
Low C3 and normal C4 levels suggest activation of the alternate pathway.
C4 could be low with a normal ch50. ...Read more

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My 4 yo son recently had some bloodwork done. C4 complement level was 14, C3 complement was 148. Risk for autoimmune disease? C4 is just barely normal

My 4 yo son recently had some bloodwork done. C4 complement level was 14, C3 complement was 148. Risk for autoimmune disease? C4 is just barely normal

No: And depends on history, physical exam and why the test was ordered. Auto immune disorders are vast, not a single blood test result makes the diagnosis, which is rather a complex one. Ask your doctor about the result and the logic behind ordering the test, wish you and your son wellness ...Read more

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Repeated blood tests show I have VERY low complement C3 @ 41 and not sure is C4 @ 12 is also considered low. What tests should be done next?

Repeated blood tests show I have VERY low complement C3 @ 41 and not sure is C4 @ 12 is also considered low. What tests should be done next?

Any symptoms?: Why were these tests done? All laboratory results need to be interpreted in the clinical context and the doctor who ordered the tests is usually in the best position to do that. Having said that, it needs to be kept in mind that complement proteins are labile and if the blood specimen is not handled properly, it may give inaccurate results. Would be prudent to get retested at a reputable lab. ...Read more

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Complement C3 & C4 tests done 3 times. C3 normal but twice C4 was borderline normal or borderline low, 3rd time it was well within range. deficiency?

Why the tests?: If the values were either borderline low or borderline normal, then one would call the value low normal. Whether it means anything or not would depends on whether you have a disease condition associated with complement consumption. A low C4 is usually found in patients with hereditary angioedema. ...Read more

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What does it mean if my complement C3 serum was 4 points low on a scale of 90-180 and my C4 was normal? Could there be something wrong?

What does it mean if my complement C3 serum was 4 points low on a scale of 90-180 and my C4 was normal? Could there be something wrong?

Probably nothing: Decreased complement levels are seen in patients with active lupus. However, very minor abnormalities occur frequently, even in perfectly healthy individuals. These lab values must be viewed in the context of other lab studies and the clinical picture. Ask the physician who ordered the complement studies for his/her opinion as to the clinical relevance of this isolated lab abnormality. ...Read more

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I have complement C3 n C4 deficient, ivr beem diagnosed with adult stills d. N fibro? Is deficiency in those to really rare?

I have complement C3 n C4 deficient, ivr beem diagnosed with adult stills d. N fibro? Is deficiency in those to really rare?

Not simple.: No association between still's & these complement deficiencies. C2 and C4 partial and complete defifiencies are not rare, affecting 1/200 people each. People with C2 and C4 deficiencies are more prone to diseases in the lupus family.C3 deficiencies are exceedingly rare and pose grave immune problems. The problem with low c2, c4, and C3 may reflect consumption of complement by vasculitis. Fms not! ...Read more

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Complement C3 and C4 tests done 3 times due to lupus symptoms. C3 always normal but C4 borderline low twice, now normal. is this a deficiency?

Complement C3 and C4 tests done 3 times due to lupus symptoms. C3 always normal but C4 borderline low twice, now normal. is this a deficiency?

Disease activity: I assume that the diagnosis of sLE has been confirmed. The concentration of C4 is much lower than C3. As C4 is ow normal, there is no deficiency. When sLE is active, C4 concentration may decrease because of it being used up by immune complexes in the blood. When disease activity lessens, less C4 is being used. ...Read more

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What means very high CH50 complement? Mine is 277 CAE,C3 and C4 normal.Ref ranges for lab are only greater than 60,but I read high could be pathologis

How do you feel?: The complement system is a chaotic system -- like the butterfly effect. Most-impacted by this is CH40. The CH50 test is subject to so many variables and artifacts that as long as you feel reasonably well and don't have some bizarre, mysterious illness, I wouldn't give an elevated value a second thought. ...Read more

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Sle dx. C3 is always low for years. C4 has never been low. I realize sle diagnosis is more complicated but aren't both complements usually low in sle?

No: Serum complements are usually normal in lupus. The are often low in individuals with skin or kidney involvement but may also be low without an apparent underlying cause. ...Read more

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I have a complement C4 of 8 and C3 of 65. Also have positive ANA 1:80 homogeneous. What could this indicate? Lupus?

Need an evaluation: We can see this combination in Lupus but it may not be lupus. there things can do this. Your physicians can have you see a rheumatologist. You need to have additional laboratory studies to clarify your symptoms ...Read more

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2yr old had blood work done in Dec & in Feb results are saying she had a high C3, C4 Complement & high C-Reactive protein & ES rate what's wrong?

2yr old had blood work done in Dec & in Feb results are saying she had a high C3, C4 Complement & high C-Reactive protein & ES rate what's wrong?

Abnormal labs: these lab results could mean different things depending on her symptoms I would suggest a follow up visit with the ordering doctor to discuss these results. ...Read more

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High positive ANA for years and now tested elevated complement C4 and C3 but all other autoimmune antibodies are still negative. What could that be?

High positive ANA for years and now tested elevated complement C4 and C3 but all other autoimmune antibodies are still negative. What could that be?

Inflammation: Complement is a phase reactant which means it will go up with any type of inflammation. It is not specific for any one problem. A low complement is of more concern. These lab texts could mean you will eventually develop an autoimmune disease or other disease process associated with ANA. They slso may never amount to anything. ...Read more

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Esr, c3, c4, total hemolytic complement are all high, negative ana, malar rash, could it be lupus?

Esr, c3, c4, total hemolytic complement are all high, negative ana, malar rash, could it be lupus?

Very unlikely: Only a few patients with a malar rash on their cheeks have lupus. You have had appropriate laboratory tests and none are suggestive of lupus except the elevated esr, which is a very nonspecific measure of inflammation. See a dermatologist if you have done already done so. ...Read more

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Went for urinalysis test - all ok but complement C3 & C4 serum low and total IgA high. Hv hep c n cirohsis, low bp, taking diuretic. Pl advice?

Seriously sick: You know this. I'm glad you are alcohol-free. If you are a candidate for one of the new treatments to try to eliminate hepatitis c, please consider trying. The high IgA and the lowish complement components fit with your progressing liver disease. Your physician can advise you about medication. If the virus is eliminated, your liver will largely heal. Best wishes. ...Read more

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Increased aldolase, complement c3/c4 serum, sed rate, c-react. Protein, beta globulin, monocytes, bun/creatin low mcv-mch, vit d-possible causes?

Increased aldolase,  complement c3/c4 serum, sed rate, c-react. Protein, beta globulin, monocytes, bun/creatin low mcv-mch, vit d-possible causes?

Complicated: When i was doing clinical medicine, these were collectively sort of the flags for sarcoid disease but I am not saying that's the case here. This is because sarcoid is a diagnosis of exclusion so the advice is to rule out other diseases with additional diagnostic tests which can be done by a primary care physician or rheumatologist. ...Read more

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Normal C-RP, Sed Rate, CBC, CMP, Rheumatoid fac., C3/C4 Complement and Cyclic Citrul peptide. ANA was negative. Does this rule out any auto-immune?

Normal C-RP, Sed Rate, CBC, CMP, Rheumatoid fac., C3/C4 Complement and Cyclic Citrul peptide. ANA was negative. Does this rule out any auto-immune?

Not necessarily: All laboratory results need to be interpreted in the clinical context and the doctor who ordered the tests is usually in the best position to do that. Having said that, Lab test do not equate to disease or the lack of it. It is good that all the test results are negative. It reduces your risk of an auto-immune disease to very very low, but does not exclude it 100%. ...Read more

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Im complement deficient. What does this mean? Low C3 and c4. joint pain, low back pain, rashes, anisocoria, low tsh, fatigue etc and it's not lupus

Likely secondary: You probably has an autoimmune condition which is consuming the complements thus accounting for the low levels. Have you seen a rheumatologist? if so, you need to rush to find one. ...Read more

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What would having low complement levels indicate?

What would having low complement levels indicate?

Low complement: Low levels of complement are seen in persons with complement deficiency who are prone to recurrent infections as well as in certain autoimmune conditions, inherited angioedema conditions, and hives associated with vasculitis (inflammed blood vessels). These can all be serious. Collection of blood to measure complement is tricky and needs to be done right or low level could occur. ...Read more

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Should I see a rheumatologist if I have elevated complement levels?

Should I see a rheumatologist if I have elevated complement levels?

Don t think so: Complement is an acute phase reactantant , having high complement levels only means there is a reaction , probably inflammatory . If the diagnosis is ulcerative colitis , but you don t have arthritis youndont need to see the rheumatologist for high complement leves. ...Read more

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What do low complement levels indicate is going on?

What do low complement levels indicate is going on?

Some things: To consider:
1) autoimmunity (particularly sle)
2) immunodeficiency
3) blood dyscrasia or cancer. ...Read more

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I've never head of complement levels, what do they mean when they are low?

I've never head of complement levels, what do they mean when they are low?

Complement: Complement are proteins in the blood that are part of the immune system. Individuals with very low or absent complement are prone to infections such as recurrent neisseria meningitis. If the blood test isn't put on ice right after it is drawn, then a low level could result that is incorrect. ...Read more

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I have vesico-ureteric reflux and acute hypertension, why would complement levels be an investigation?

See Below: Most likely they are looking to see if your body is attacking your kidneys by activating complement proteins in the kidney tissue. If there is complement deposition there then the explanation for your hypertension may be injury to your kidneys from this. ...Read more

Complement (Definition)

The complement system is an important effector mechanism of both humoral and innate immunity. Its functions are to promote phagocytosis of microbes, to stimulate inflammation, and to induce lysis of these organisms. The system is highly complex and comprised of over 50 effector and regulatory molecules. It is activated via one of three pathways: antibody, lectin, or by ...Read more