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What is the complement system in relation to rheumatoid arthritis?

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The complement system is made up of a network of proteins that involve the immune system and inflammation. Decreased levels of various components of complement -- C3, C4, or CH50 -- can be seen in lupus. Other diseases that involve inflammation of the blood vessels -- called vasculitis -- can also have decreased levels of complement in the blood. In some cases of lupus, particularly those with kidney disease, complement levels are used to follow the illness because they may rise and fall according to the activity of the disease.

SOURCES: American Association for Clinical Chemistry: "Rheumatoid Factor." National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "How is Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosed?" Arthritis Foundation: "Guide to Lab Tests."


Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on April 09, 2018

SOURCES: American Association for Clinical Chemistry: "Rheumatoid Factor." National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "How is Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosed?" Arthritis Foundation: "Guide to Lab Tests."


Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on April 09, 2018

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What are cryoglobulins in relation to rheumatoid arthritis?

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