What is the role of complement testing in the workup of acute poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis (APSGN)?

Updated: Dec 05, 2018
  • Author: Rajendra Bhimma, MBChB, MD, PhD, DCH (SA), FCP(Paeds)(SA), MMed(Natal); Chief Editor: Craig B Langman, MD  more...
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Answer

Theoretically, the complement (or C3) levels should be decreased in all such patients; however, the duration of low values may be quite brief and, therefore, missed, even when examined serially. When the serum level is low in individuals with APSGN, a depressed level for longer than 6-8 weeks is unusual. Thus, if the value remains low after this period of time, thinking of some other nephritic process, such as membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN), is wise.


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