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Test Findings




  • Cryoglobulins are immunoglobulins (antibodies) that precipitate reversibly in cold temperatures. Their presence is associated with cryoglobulinaemic vasculitis.
    • Collection

    • Blood is obtained in pre-warmed tubes, centrifuged and placed at 4 degrees for several days. The tubes are examined daily to determine if proteins have precipitated.
  • Cryoglobulinaemia may result in the setting of certain diseases, and produces a characteristic syndrome of purpura, peripheral ischaemia and neuropathy and renal failure.
    • Causes of Cryoglobulinaemia

    • Type I - simple cryoglobulins

    • Multiple myeloma
    • Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinaemia
    • Lymphoproliferative disorders
    • Type II - monoclonal cryoglobulins

    • Hepatitis C
    • Sjögren’s syndrome
    • Type III - polyclonal cryoglobulins

    • Chronic infection - viral hepatitis, EBV, CMV, HIV, bacterial, fungal, parasitic
    • Inflammatory disease - SLE, RA, IBD
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