The complement system has a significant role in myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury, being responsible for cell lysis and amplification of inflammatory response. In this context, several studies highlight that terminal complement complex C5b-9, also known as the membrane attack complex (MAC), is a significant contributor. The MAC functions were studied by many researchers analyzing the characteristics of its activation in myocardial infarction. Here, a systematic literature review was reported to evaluate the principal features, advantages, and limits (regarding the application) of complement components and MAC in post mortem settings to perform the diagnosis of myocardial ischemia/infarction. The review was performed according to specific inclusion and exclusion criteria, and a total of 26 studies were identified. Several methods studied MAC, and each study contributes to defining better how and when it affects the myocardial damage in ischemic/reperfusion injury. The articles were discussed, focusing on the specificity, sensibility, and post mortem stability of MAC as a marker of myocardial ischemia/infarction, supporting the usefulness in routine post mortem investigations.
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