Skip to Content

Complement Test for Lupus

Topic Overview

A complement test uses a blood sample to detect a group of proteins that help the body attack foreign substances.

When there are a lot of foreign substances in the body, such as bacteria or viruses, a low level of complement means the body is trying to get rid of the foreign substances. If the body is attacking its own tissues instead of foreign substances (as inautoimmune diseasessuch aslupus), a low level of complement may mean that the body is attacking and damaging tissues such as the kidneys.

The complement test can be repeated at regular intervals. This helps monitor the progress of the disease.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerNancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Rheumatology

Current as ofOctober 10, 2017

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Symptom Checker

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.