Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Complement Test for Lupus
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.
The complement test can be repeated at regular intervals. This helps monitor the progress of the disease.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerNancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Current as ofFebruary 24, 2016
Current as of:
February 24, 2016
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
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:
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.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.