Treatment of mild or moderate cryoglobulinemia depends on the underlying cause. Treating the cause will often treat the cryoglobulinemia.
Mild cases can be treated by avoiding cold temperatures.
Standard hepatitis C treatments usually work for patients who have hepatitis C and mild or moderate cryoglobulinemia. However, the condition can return when treatment stops.
Severe cryoglobulinemia (involves vital organs or large areas of skin) is treated with corticosteroids and other medications that suppress the immune system.
Treatment may also involve plasmapheresis. Plasmapheresis is a procedure in which blood plasma is removed from the circulation and replaced by fluid, protein, or donated plasma.
Cryoglobulinemia is not usually deadly. However, if the kidneys are affected, the outlook is poor.
- Bleeding in the digestive tract (rare)
- Heart disease (rare)
- Infections of ulcers
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Skin death
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Call your health care provider if:
- You develop symptoms of cryoglobulinemia
- You have hepatitis C and develop symptoms of cryoglobulinemia
- You have cryoglobulinemia and develop new or worsening symptoms
Review Date : 1/12/2009
Reviewed By : Todd Gersten, M.D., Hematology/Oncology, Palm Beach Cancer Institute, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.