- stroke), eyes, and heart. Inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis) which increases the risk of blockage of arteries. A condition called essential mixed cryoglobulinemia (EMC) involves cryoglobulin proteins which are a mixture of various antibody types that form for unknown (essential) reasons.
EMC is characterized by joint pains and swelling (arthritis), enlargement of the spleen, skin vasculitis with purplish patches, and nerve, kidney and heart disease. Treatment is with medications which reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. Plasmapheresis, in which the blood's serum is replaced with saline (salt water solution), may be done in severe cases. Cryoglobulinemia can also accompany another disease such as multiple myeloma, dermatomyositis, or lymphoma. Sometimes, small amounts of cryoglobulins are discovered by accident in the lab in a serum sample from someone with no apparent symptoms.
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* * *cryo·glob·u·lin·emia or chiefly Brit cryo·glob·u·lin·aemia -.gläb-yə-lə-'nē-mē-ə n the condition of having abnormal quantities of cryoglobulins in the blood
* * *cryo·glob·u·lin·emia (kri″o-glob″u-lĭ-neґme-ə) the presence of cryoglobulin in the blood, associated with a variety of clinical manifestations including Raynaud phenomenon, vascular purpura, cold urticaria, necrosis of extremities, bleeding disorders, vasculitis, arthralgia, neurologic manifestations, hepatosplenomegaly, and glomerulonephritis.
Medical dictionary. 2011.
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