Cryoglobulin Assay: Policy July 2009

Cryoglobulinaemia is a rare diagnosis. A recent laboratory audit in Leeds has shown that only 4% of patients tested for cryoglobulins are positive.  The transport and handling of cryoglobulins is difficult and is often problematic. Our experience is that >95% of samples will have a paraprotein (type I cryoglobulins), a very low C4 (type II or III cryoglobulin) or a raised rheumatoid factor (type II or III cryoglobulin) at presentation. Therefore all requests for cryoglobulins will initially be tested for complement C4, immunoglobulins and serum electrophoresis and rheumatoid factor. Only samples with abnormal results will be considered for the cryoglobulin assay. If it is suspected that the sample was received cold then a repeat sample will be requested.

Given the complexity of procedures involved in receiving samples, performing and interpreting this test this service is not available to GPs.

Medical and Clinical Scientist staff in the Immunology laboratory will be happy to advise on individual patients.

Policy on Cryoglobulin Determination

Page updated: 01/01/11 | Updated by: Anna McHugh

Cryogobulin Assay