Hemodialysis leads to plasma depletion of lectin complement pathway initiator molecule ficolin-2

Ture Lange Nielsen*, Katrine Pilely, Kit P. Lund, Peder Emil Warming, Louis Lind Plesner, Kasper Karmark Iversen, Peter Garred

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Introduction: This study aimed to investigate changes in complement system-related molecules in patients undergoing hemodialysis. Methods: Patients >18 years of age on maintenance hemodialysis were included. Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) methods complement related molecules ficolin-1, ficolin-2, ficolin-3 mannose-binding lectin, long pentraxin 3, complement activation products C3c, and complement activation potentials were measured before and after a single hemodialysis treatment. All patients were dialyzed with synthetic high flux filters >1.6 m2, respectively, Polyamix and Polysulfone, and the Kt/V was maintained >1.3. Findings: Three hundred and four patients were included. There was a modest decrease in plasma level of ficolin-1 (p < 0.001). Ficolin-2 was virtually depleted with median 3.9 (interquartile range [IQR]: 2.6–6.1, range 0.3–13.5) μg/ml before dialysis to median 0.0 (IQR: 0.0–0.5, range 0.0–5.5) μg/ml after dialysis (p < 0.001). No significant difference before and after hemodialysis was seen for mannose-binding lectin and long pentraxin 3 (p > 0.05). In a random subgroup of 160 patients ficolin-2-binding, ficolin-3-mediated lectin pathway capacity and classical pathway capacity were significantly decreased due to hemodialysis. The complement capacity of the alternative pathway was increased after hemodialysis (p = 0.0101), while mannose-binding lectin-mediated lectin pathway capacity was unaltered (p = 0.79). There was an increase in the complement activation product C3c (p < 0.0001), while the concentration of total C4 and C3 did not change (p > 0.158). Multivariate Cox proportional hazard analyses showed an increased risk for all-cause mortality with increasing ficolin-2 (p = 0.002) after hemodialysis. Discussion: Plasma ficolin-2 was virtually depleted from the circulation after hemodialysis. However, elevated plasma ficolin-2 levels after hemodialysis was independently associated with increased mortality.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHemodialysis International
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)479-488
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • activation
  • chronic kidney disease
  • complement
  • dialysis
  • ficolin-2


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