Objective: To evaluate the association between serum complement levels (C3 and C4) and obstetric complications.
Methods: Fifty-seven pregnancies in primary APS (PAPS) patients were compared with 49 pregnancies in patients with UCTD and SS. A group of 175 healthy pregnant women were studied to calculate a normality range for C3 and C4 during pregnancy. Such a range was applied to define hypocomplementaemia in PAPS and UCTD/SS.
Results: Both groups of patients (PAPS and UCTD/SS) showed significantly lower levels of C3 and C4 in each trimester as compared with healthy women; conversely, no significant difference was found between PAPS and UCTD/SS. Comparing PAPS pregnancies with and without complications, no difference was found in the prevalence of low C3 or low C4.
Conclusion: No association was found between hypocomplementaemia and obstetric complications in PAPS. However, both cases of pre-eclampsia were characterized by low C3 throughout pregnancy. There is evidence that the complement system is a contributor to the mechanisms of aPL-mediated damage, but its predictive role on the final pregnancy outcome does not seem to be of major impact.