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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Cryoglobulinemia


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Overview

Cryoglobulinemia is a type of vasculitis that is caused by abnormal proteins (antibodies) in the blood called "cryoglobulins." At cold temperatures, these proteins become solid or gel-like, which can block blood vessels and cause a variety of health problems. Many people affected by this condition will not experience any unusual signs or symptoms. When present, symptoms vary but may include breathing problems; fatigue; glomerulonephritis; joint or muscle pain; purpura; Raynaud's phenomenon; skin death; and/or skin ulcers. In some cases, the exact underlying cause is unknown; however, cryoglobulinemia can be associated with a variety of conditions including certain types of infection; chronic inflammatory diseases (such as autoimmune disease); and/or cancers of the blood or immune system. Treatment varies based on the severity of the condition, the symptoms present in each person and the underlying cause.[1][2]
Last updated: 5/7/2015

References

  1. Cryoglobulinemia. MedlinePlus. January 2013; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000540.htm.
  2. Adam M Tritsch, MD. Cryoglobulinemia. Medscape Reference. March 2015; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/329255-overview.
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Basic Information

  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it┬áprovides more information about this topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.