Essential mixed cryoglobulinemia (EMC) is infrequently recognized in this country. We report studies performed in six patients with EMC evaluated by us over the last 6 years. Purpura was present in three patients and glomerulonephritis in all. Two patients had chronic hepatitis B infection. Positive cryoglobulins and C1q binding, hypocomplementemia (especially low C4), positive rheumatoid factor titer, and negative anti-DNA antibodies were characteristic laboratory findings. The cryoprecipitate had strongly positive rheumatoid factor activity and contained a monoclonal IgM, kappa type in one of the two patients evaluated. The predominant lesion by renal biopsy was mesangiocapillary glomerulonephritis type I; electron microscopy revealed typical fibrillar structures in four cases. The above-mentioned features help distinguish EMC from other forms of glomerulonephritis.
- fibrillar renal deposits
- hepatitis B infection
- mesangiocapillary glomerulonephritis
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