What is the prognosis of complement deficiencies?

Updated: Apr 28, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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In general, the prognosis for patients with C3 deficiencies is poorer than that of individuals with other complement deficiencies. Patients may have severe, recurrent episodes of pyogenic infection beginning when as young as a few months. Many can die from sepsis early in life.

Patients with a deficiency of one of the early components of the classical pathway (C1, C4, C2) are at high risk for autoimmune disease but at lower risk for overwhelming sepsis with pyogenic infections.

Deficiency of a MAC component (C5, C6, C7, C8) or of properdin increases the risk for recurrent infections caused by Neisseria organisms.

Mannan-binding lectin (MBL) deficiency has been linked to an increased frequency of pyogenic infections and sepsis, especially in neonates and children.

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