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C3 Complement Serum Test

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C3 Test Overview

C3 are proteins that form the complement system which is a part of the immune system. The complement system is made up of close to 30 proteins which work together to protect the body against any infections or diseases. The main function of C3 along with other proteins is to form antibodies against infections, destroy the dead cells, neutralize the virus and bacteria, and build up the immunity. But at times they may even destroy healthy tissues leading to autoimmune disorders.


Complement component 3 or C3 is a crucial protein of the immune system. The innate immune system of the body depends on this protein to provide the body's initial line of defence against invading bacteria or viruses. The activity of this protein in your blood is determined by the complement C3 blood test.

What is C3 - Complement-3 Serum Test?

A blood test for C3 complement determines the amount of a C3 protein in your blood.  C3 proteins work with your immune system to eliminate microorganisms that can cause illness.

What is the complement system?

The plasma of the blood contains 60 proteins that make up the complement system.

To protect your body from different infections, these proteins act in harmony in a certain order. The activation of one protein causes the activation of several proteins. In this process, proteins like C3 are consumed. A complement cascade describes the entire procedure.

Complement proteins like C3 occasionally mistakenly target healthy tissues. The body misidentifies its tissues as foreign and harmful due to autoimmune diseases. In response, the complement system produces antibodies to attack its tissues.

In people who inherit autoimmune diseases and infections, their bodies are less effective at eliminating bacteria. 

People with the symptoms of the following conditions should do the C3 - Complement-3 Serum test

  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Crohn's disease
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Malnutrition
  • Thyroid illness
  • Organ rejection
  • Colitis ulcerosa
  • Anaemia hemolytic (AIHA)
  • Certain forms of cancer
  • A heart attack or other cardiac issues
  • Sarcoidosis (inflammatory disease)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Liver illness due to excessive alcohol consumption
  • Hepatitis (liver inflammation) hepatitis A, hepatitis B or hepatitis C
  • Angioedema hereditarily (swelling under the skin)
  • Bacteremia (blood poisoning)


The Complement-3 blood test is performed to determine the level of complement-3 in the blood. Sometimes it can be hard to know what to do when you receive a diagnosis that is difficult to understand. It’s important to remember that you are not alone and you can feel confident by discussing your questions or concerns about the C3 lab test or the results with our experts.

Written by: Dr.Shibani R, Medical Writer, Medical Affairs

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C3 Complement Serum Test Price

Metropolis Healthcare is a leading diagnostics centre and pathology lab in India equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technologies that provides the C3 Complement Serum Test with a clear pricing structure.

The C3 Complement Serum Test Price in Mumbai is ₹ 900 .

We are committed to deliver accurate and quality results from the best labs in India with complete transparency regarding test cost and turnaround time. No matter where you are, we strive to offer patients high-quality service that is affordable and accessible.

Frequently Asked Questions

C3 test is usually recommended in cases of:

  • Recurrent bacterial infections
  • Unexplained swelling or allergies
  • Suspected autoimmune disorders like Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) or Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
  • To decide the effectiveness of treatment of autoimmune diseases.
  • The C3 - complement serum test is done in case the doctor anticipates one of the following bacterial infections:

  • An infection or inflammation
  • Lupus-like autoimmune disease symptoms
  • Diseases connected to the immune system such as vasculitis and glomerulonephritis (GN).
  • While treating autoimmune diseases including lupus or rheumatoid arthritis (RA), this test is done to check the progress of the treatment.

C3 test measures the levels of C3 complement protein in the blood.

During C3 test blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a  little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes. In new-borns the blood is taken from the skin behind the heel.

Low C3 levels may occur due to autoimmune disorders like SLE, RA or psoriatic arthritis, C3 protein deficiency, hepatitis, kidney disorders or even organ transplant rejections.

High C3 levels mean that there is an acute infection or inflammation. Increase in C3 levels in those undergoing treatment for autoimmune disorders mean that the treatment is working well. The levels may be high even during a heart attack, sarcoidosis, ulcerative colitis or due to certain cancers.

The normal range of C3 protein depends upon various factors like age, gender, and general health. Normally, the typical range is within the range of 80 and 178 mg/dl.

It takes a few days or at times a week for the lab to give the results of the test.

The rare disorder known as C3 deficiency, which is characterized by recurrent bacterial infections that start in childhood, is thought to be caused by at least 17 mutations in the C3 gene. The genetic alterations that result in C3 deficiency modify the C3 protein or stop cells from making any of this protein.

Because blood tests are harmless, there is no risk associated with them. Your body replaces the blood that is lost after a minimal amount has been removed by your healthcare practitioner. After having their blood drawn, some people may have a brief feeling of dizziness

If an illness is recurring often, your doctor will request this test. It aids in the identification and management of autoimmune diseases. The test is performed to monitor the development of the disease as well.

A C3 complement blood test does not require any special preparation on your part. An elastic band will be tied on your arm and you will be asked to make a fist with your hand. Your healthcare provider will sanitize the area and then insert a needle to draw blood. The blood sample will be collected into a vacutainer and sent to the laboratory for analysis.

If the levels of C3 protein are lower than the normal range, it can indicate:

    • An autoimmune disorder like psoriatic arthritis, Crohn's disease, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
    • An increased risk of developing an autoimmune disorder
    • Malnutrition
    • Infections by bacteria and parasites (including malaria)
    • Liver illness due to excessive alcohol consumption
    • Chronic kidney disease and renal disease
    • Hepatitis (liver inflammation), is caused by hepatitis A, hepatitis B or hepatitis C
    • Anaemia hemolytic (AIHA)
    • Angioedema hereditarily (swelling under the skin)
    • Bacteremia (blood poisoning)
    • Organ rejection, such as the rejection of a kidney transplant
    • C3 protein levels that are higher than usual may suggest that your immune system is responding to therapy

Increased C3 levels may also be a symptom of:

    • Thyroid disease
    • Certain forms of cancer
    • Myocardial infarction, a heart attack or other cardiac issues
    • Sarcoidosis (an inflammatory disease)
    • Colitis ulcerosa

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