Research Article

Low plasma C4 concentrations: association with microangiopathy in insulin dependent diabetes.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 289 doi: (Published 13 October 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;289:943
  1. A H Barnett,
  2. C Mijovic,
  3. J Fletcher,
  4. I Chesner,
  5. B M Kulkuska-Langlands,
  6. R Holder,
  7. A R Bradwell


    Plasma C4 concentrations were measured in insulin dependent diabetics with and without microangiopathy and in controls. The diabetics had significantly lower C4 values than controls (p less than 0.001), and patients with insulin dependent diabetes and microangiopathy had lower values than those without this complication (p less than 0.001). There was a 7.1-fold increase in the prevalence of complications in the diabetics with low C4 values. Of 41 diabetics whose rate of albumin excretion was measured, 13 had increased rates and 11 of these had low C4 concentrations. Low plasma C4 concentration in insulin dependent diabetes is strongly associated with microvascular disease and may identify diabetics with a particular propensity to develop this complication.