OBJECTIVES: To assess the involvement of ficolin-3, the main initiator of the lectin complement pathway (LCP), in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) pathology and outcome. METHODS: In this preliminary exploratory study, plasma concentration of ficolin-3 and of ficolin-3-mediated functional LCP activity was measured, along with that of other LCP initiators (mannose-binding lectin, ficolin-2, and ficolin-1), C3 activation products, and soluble C5b-9 terminal complex, in a prospective cohort of 39 patients with SAH and 20 healthy controls. The following parameters were recorded: SAH severity, assessed using the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies grading scale; vasospasm, defined as neuro-worsening with angiographic confirmation of vessel narrowing; cerebral ischemia, defined as hypodense lesion on CT scan performed before discharge; and 6-month outcome, assessed using the Glasgow Outcome Scale. RESULTS: In patients, no changes were detected for ficolin-3 compared with controls. Notably, however, ficolin-3-mediated functional LCP activity was reduced. Low levels of plasma ficolin-3 and ficolin-3-mediated functional LCP activity were related to SAH severity, vasospasm, and cerebral ischemia. Moreover, ficolin-3 functional LCP activity was decreased in patients with unfavorable outcome. CONCLUSION: Our data provide evidence that LCP is activated after SAH and that the actual plasma concentrations of ficolin-3 reflect the severity of brain injury as evaluated by clinical and structural parameters. These results support the idea that ficolin-3-mediated functional LCP activity may be targeted to control injury progression in SAH.