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Cryoglobulinemia

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms vary depending on the type of cryoglobulinemia and the organs that are affected. In general, symptoms may include:

    • Difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Glomerulonephritis
    • Joint pain
    • Muscle pain
    • Purpura
    • Raynaud's phenomenon
    • Skin death
    • Skin ulceration

    Signs and tests

    The doctor will perform a physical exam. There may be signs of liver and spleen swelling.

    Tests for cryoglobulinemia include:

    • Complete blood count (CBC)
    • Complement assay -- numbers will be low
    • Cryoglobulin test -- may show presence of cryoglobulins
    • Liver function tests -- may be high
    • Rheumatoid factor -- positive in types II and III
    • Skin biopsy
    • Urinalysis -- may show blood in the urine if the kidneys are affected

    Other tests may include:

    • Angiogram
    • Chest x-ray
    • ESR
    • Hepatitis C test
    • Nerve conduction tests, if the person has weakness in the arms or legs
    • Protein electrophoresis - blood