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Cryoglobulinaemia

 
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Overview

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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