[Cryoglobulinemia and chronic liver diseases]

Z Gastroenterol. 1998 May;36(5):391-401.
[Article in German]


Cryoglobulinemia can be associated with several infections, immunoproliferative tumors, chronic liver, renal and systemic autoimmune diseases. In the first part of the publication the authors give a review of the main clinical and laboratory properties of cryoglobulins. In essential mixed cryoglobulinemia syndrome (purpura, arthralgia, weakness) clinical and laboratory signs of damaged liver function can often be seen. However, there are mixed cryoglobulins in chronic liver disease of different etiologies as well. In 30-94% of patients with hepatitis C virus infection and hepatitis C virus-induced chronic liver diseases laboratory signs (occasionally clinical symptoms as well) or mixed cryoglobulinemia can be diagnosed. Serological markers of hepatitis C virus infection have been found in the cryoprecipitates of patients with mixed cryoglobulinemia. A high prevalence of mixed cryoglobulins in serum of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection and hepatitis C virus-induced chronic liver disease suggests that this virus has a significant role in the pathogenesis of mixed cryoglobulins. Also, an impaired clearance function of the liver in the uptake of cryo(immuno)complexes may be an important causative factor in the production of cryoglobulins in chronic liver diseases of different etiologies.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Cryoglobulinemia / diagnosis*
  • Cryoglobulinemia / immunology
  • Cryoglobulinemia / pathology
  • Cryoglobulins / metabolism
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / immunology
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / pathology
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Rheumatoid Factor / blood
  • Vasculitis / diagnosis
  • Vasculitis / immunology
  • Vasculitis / pathology


  • Cryoglobulins
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Rheumatoid Factor