Serum complement pattern in essential mixed cryoglobulinaemia

Clin Exp Immunol. 1978 Apr;32(1):77-85.


In twenty-six patients affected by essential cryoglobulinaemia, 188 determinations of serum complement components (SCC) were made. A peculiar pattern was observed which was characterized by: (a) low levels of early components (Clq, Cls and C4), (b) normal levels of C3 and high concentrations of late components (C5, C9) and (c) CH50 values significantly lower than normal. No relationship could be observed between early SCC and C3 levels. Thirty-three crossed immunoelectrophoreses were performed in thirteen patient's blood samples. The C3c peaks were not different from normal. Follow-up data (156 serum samples from twenty-four patients) during a 6-40 month period showed a non-homogeneous SCC behaviour. However, no relationship was found between the complement concentrations and clinical score. These findings suggest that SCC abnormalities are related to a complement hyposynthesis, which could be caused by a reduced C2 production or by a negative feedback effect of active components or their fragments.

MeSH terms

  • Complement C3 / metabolism
  • Complement System Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cryoglobulins*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoelectrophoresis, Two-Dimensional
  • Male
  • Paraproteinemias / immunology*
  • Time Factors


  • Complement C3
  • Cryoglobulins
  • Complement System Proteins