View Full Version : Had rheumy appt....a quick question..

01-16-2009, 08:32 PM
Hi all..
I have to make this quick because I have a little boy who is muttering "ni-ni". (night-night). Anyways..I had my rheumy consult today. I think I liked the doctor..he was kind and listened to me very carefully. (He talked kind of funny which threw me off at first..lol). Anyways...he is leaning towards a fibro dx. but he said obviously we have to rule out other things first. So...he ordered some lupus and "lupus like disorders" blood testing and also x-rays of my knees since they bother me the most. He is going to wait for all the data to come in then we will go from there.

Anyways...I work within the medical system so therefore I have access to my records...(i have a release signed by the way...just for the record). Anyways..I called my fellow triage nurse tonight just to see if any results had come in yet. Some of the tests will take a few days to get back. Anyways.....

the xray of my right knee was fine and the left was ok too except for a osteo chondroma....which from looking it up..basically sounds like a bone spur or something.

Two blood tests were in.....RF..which was negative and C3 which was elevated at 188. I did some quick research and it looks like a low C3 is more closely linked with lupus..am I right? It looks like a high C3 indicates inflammation...SO...my question is....does the fact that I have a high C3 have anything to do with possibly having lupus?? Obviously it is saying I have some sort of inflammation going on...(which doesn't surprise me with the night sweats, fevers, and severe joint pain). Anyways...could anyone explain this to me and tell me if this is potentially a problem? I know obviously i have to wait for the other bloodwork to come in....but just thought I would research what I could on the C3.

If some of you remember..I did have a ANA drawn in early December. It came back at 0.9 which was negative but on the high end of negative.

So..we'll wait and see..but if anyone has more info or insight on the C3..I would really appreciate it. Hope everyone is well...


01-18-2009, 01:50 AM
Hi traigenurse22,

I usually have read that low levels of C3 and C4 are indicative of a lupus flare.

But, according to (http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/complement_levels/test.html),
"Complement protein levels are usually increased, along with other unrelated proteins called acute phase proteins, during acute or chronic inflammation.

Increased and decreased complement levels will not tell your doctor what is wrong, but they will give him an indication that the immune system is involved with your condition. Complement levels can be increased with inflammation, rising before other markers such as the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP)."

A ESR and/or CRP is more common in lupus flares, so if it is lupus, it could be possible that your C3 was elevated and preceeded other possible abnormalities in your bloodwork, like ESR.

A high C3 level is a reason for concern, of course, and since it can be increased with inflammation, there is something abnormal going on, and it could relate to the possibility of lupus, since lupus is a disease of inflammation.

I hope everything works out and you are feeling okay. Please keep us updated!

01-19-2009, 08:31 PM
Hi Gisele...

Thanks so much for the response!! Yeah...the C3 test doesn't make a lot of sense to me..but you are right....a high result does mean inflammation and lupus is a disease which involves inflammation...so it sure seems logical??

I checked my record online and my other tests are still pending....grrrr...and I will state this again...I have signed a release...(those HIPPA police are out there everywhere). I am having an awful night tonight.....severe muscle and joint pain, chills, low grade fever and headache...bahhhh!! I am counting the minutes until I can go home!!! (I'm at work right now).

One thing I thought seemed weird in my dictation.....I have a red rash on both of my palms and he made mention of that...but he also stated that i had "slight erythema about the cheeks". I hadn't noticed that.....was my face just red from being at the doctor..lol...or is he good at spotting rashes?? LoL?? I do get a slight pinking of my cheeks from time to time...sometimes rash like...but it literally fades the same day I get it....so I guess that's why I haven't linked it to anything.....

Ok..enough rambling....OH.......I have noticed too that I probably should have posted my original message in a different forum....yeek..sorry....I think I was in a "fibro fog", "lupus fog" or a "fog of unknown origin"..at this point.

Ok...thanks again...