Complement Level - C3

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Age group

7 years & above

The Complement Level test, also known as the C3 test, tracks the activity of the C3 protein in the blood. The complement system in the blood consists of nearly 60 proteins usually expressed on the surface of specific cells or blood plasma. Among these, there are nine major complement proteins named C1 to C9. These cells portray different functions, helping the complement system play an integral role in the body's immune function.

C3 is a protein responsible for activating the complement system. During the invasion of bacteria or viruses, the C3 protein is cleaved into two smaller pieces, one of which interacts with other proteins on various cells to trigger the response of the complement system. The protein also ensures that it activates the complement system only at locations affected by the pathogen to avoid host tissue damage.Abnormal C3 protein levels may affect the immune response and cause infections.

The complement level – C3 test is a blood test to detect the activity of the C3 protein and hence gauge the body's immune response. The test also acts as a marker to detect autoimmune conditions like Lupus in a patient. When the C3 protein levels are low, the complement system may attack harmless tissue, which could lead to tissue damage. The doctor can use the complement level- C3 test results to understand the working of the complement system. It might also help detect the presence of other immune disorders like glomerulonephritis and vasculitis.

The procedure for the test resembles a standard blood test. The clinical lab technician draws blood from the vein in the arm, usually at the bend of the elbow. The subsequent blood testing can help track the activity and levels of C3 protein. The lab may also test the levels of the C3 protein against other major complement proteins in the blood.

Apollo 24/7 offers a comprehensive complement level –C3 test that utilizes C3 protein levels to determine the immune response in a patient. Some of the symptoms associated with abnormal C3 protein levels in the body are:

  • Rash across the cheeks
  • Headache
  • Mouth or nose ulcers
  • Hair loss
  • Swelling around the eyes and in the hands and feet
  • Light sensitivity
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Fever
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Pain in your chest when breathing deeply

The persistence of these symptoms for more than a few days may point to an immune-system-related issue. Contacting a health practitioner to understand the cause of these symptoms and diagnose the underlying condition quickly is essential. Timely treatment can help minimize long-term health complications.

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faqFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The complement system of the body helps target foreign pathogens entering the body to protect the tissues from getting damaged. It achieves this function with the help of 60 proteins, which assist the complement system in targeting the location where the pathogen has entered the body. When the immune system recognizes a threat in the body, it activates the proteins in the complement system to target it.
The complement level – C3 test is a diagnostic test that helps check the C3 protein levels in the human body and tracks its activities. Autoimmune disorders like Lupus are caused by the immune system attacking its own cells, and abnormal C3 protein levels mean that the complement system can target and damage healthy tissue.
The complement level – C3 blood test follows the procedure of a standard blood test. As a result, it is associated with minimal to no complications. Usually, labs offer controlled conditions where the blood test can be carried out safely.
Since C3 proteins are responsible for triggering the complement system, the symptoms of abnormal C3 protein levels may include: Persistent infections that linger for days Swelling or inflammation in the body Skin lesions that worsen with sun exposure A butterfly-shaped rash on the face
The standard range for C3 protein may differ according to the lab where you are taking the test. However, typical values usually lie in the range of 88 to 201 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl)
A C3 protein deficiency in the body can be attributed to an inherited component deficiency, affecting your overall immune function. On the other hand, you can also acquire a C3 protein deficiency due to autoimmune conditions like Lupus. This deficiency can also lead to kidney disease if left unchecked.

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The information mentioned above is meant for educational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute to your Physician’s advice. It is highly recommended that the customer consults with a qualified healthcare professional to interpret test results