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Cryoglobulinemia (CG) is the presence of serum immunoglobulin (precipitates at low temperature and redissolves at 37°C) complexed with other immunoglobulins or proteins. Associated clinical findings include purpura in cold-exposed sites, Raynaud's phenomenon, cold urticaria, acral hemorrhagic necrosis, bleeding disorders, vasculitis, arthralgia, neurologic manifestations, hepatosplenomegaly, and glomerulonephritis.


Causes:

Precipitation of cryoglobulins (when present in large amounts) causes vessel occlusion, also associated with hyperviscosity (type I); immune complex deposition followed by complement activation and inflammation; platelet aggregation/consumption of clotting factors by cryoglobulins, causing coagulation disorder; small vessel thromboses and vasculitis produced by immune complexes (types II and III).


Symptoms:


* Purple/red spots on the extremities
* Skin ulcers and gangrene
* Fever
* Weakness
* Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the hands or feet
* Weight loss

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