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Doctor insights on: Complement Levels

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Dr. Scott Keith
17 doctors shared insights

Complement Levels (Overview)

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 proteins C3 and C4.


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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

Dr. Scott Keith
17 doctors shared insights

Complement Levels (Overview)

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 proteins C3 and C4.


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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 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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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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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?

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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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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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