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 in
autoimmune diseases such as
lupus), a low level of complement may mean that the
body is attacking and damaging tissues such as the kidneys.
It is possible that the main title of the report Lupus is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
The complement test can be repeated at regular intervals. This helps monitor the progress of the disease.
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This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
May 10, 2012
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