Type I cryoglobulinemia presenting as hemorrhagic crusted leg ulcers

Yulia Gray, Nicholas Bruno, Evangelos V. Badiavas, Caroline S. Wilkel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Cryoglobulins (CGs) are serum proteins that reversibly precipitate when the serum is cooled below 37°C. Cryoglobulinemias are associated with a variety of diseases, including hematologic, autoimmune, and infectious. Isolation of CGs requires handling the specimen with extreme care. We describe a 70-year-old man, recently diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, who developed hemorrhagic crusted skin ulcers on his legs that were pruritic and painful. Results of skin biopsies showed dilated superficial, mid-dermal and deep-dermal blood vessels containing pink amorphous material and red blood cells. Cryoglobulinemia was suspected; however, an initial search for CGs was negative. There was concern about suboptimal handling of the specimen, and the test was repeated. Two percent CGs with IgM κ specificity were detected. This case illustrates the importance of the proper handling of specimens for evaluation of cryoglobulinemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-323
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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