The complement system is intimately engaged in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Here we provide an account of how it is involved in the etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and management of human SLE. We have three primary objectives. One is to summarize the current status of employing complement measurement as a biomarker to facilitate clinical management. The second is to define how a genetic deficiency is causative. The third is to explain how the complement system mediates tissue damage in SLE. The field of complement research is entering an exciting renaissance with a wealth of new information on (1) genetic variants and their functional consequences in predisposing to disease and (2) availability of complement inhibitors to ameliorate tissue damage. Complement research has provided important breakthroughs relative to our understanding of the etiology and pathogenesis of SLE. Hopefully, therapeutic interventions aimed at modulating complement’s role will have an even greater impact.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSystemic Lupus Erythematosus
Subtitle of host publicationBasic, Applied and Clinical Aspects
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780128145517
ISBN (Print)9780128145524
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • C3 and C4
  • biomarkers
  • classical pathway
  • complement assays
  • complement deficiency
  • complement system
  • immune complexes


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