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Volume 46, Number 1, February 2013

Comparison of cryoglobulinemia in children and adults 

Yu-Ting Liou, Jing-Long Huang, Liang-Shiou Ou, Yu-Hsuan Lin, Kuang-Hui Yu, Shue-Fen Luo, Huei-Huang Ho, Lieh-Bang Liou, Kuo-Wei Yeh

Received: August 9, 2011    Revised: November 7, 2011    Accepted: December 7, 2011   


Corresponding author:

Kuo-Wei Yeh, Division of Allergy, Asthma, and Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, 5 Fu-Hsin Street, Kweishan, Taoyuan, Taiwan.


Background and purpose: 

Cryoglobulinemic vasculitis is a systemic vasculitis resulting from circulating immune complex deposition in the small vessels and is characterized by variable clinical features, including purpura, Raynaud’s syndrome, ulcerations, arthralgia, glomerulonephritis, and peripheral neuropathy. Cryoglobulinemia can also result from hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The clinical spectrum and associated or underlying diseases of cryoglobulinemia in different age groups is not well understood. This study investigated the demographic, clinical, serologic features, and associated or underlying diseases in children and adult patients with cryoglobulinemia.



The retrospective study included 114 patients (18 children, 96 adults) who presented with cryoglobulinemia between 2000 and 2010 at the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. Their medical records were reviewed and serological and virologic assessments were analyzed.



In this group of patients, children had a significantly higher prevalence of prolonged fever (16.7% vs. 3.13%; p=0.018), arthralgia (66.67% vs. 16.67%; p<0.001), arthritis (66.67% vs. 15.63%; p<0.001) and cutaneous involvement (77.78% vs. 50%; p=0.03) compared with adults. Both the adult and children groups had a greater frequency of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (20.8% and 5.6%, respectively), than HCV infection (12.5% and 0%, respectively).



Children with cryoglobulinemia had a significantly higher prevalence of prolonged fever, arthralgia, arthritis and cutaneous involvement compared with adults.


Key words:

CryoglobulinemiaHepatitis B virusHepatitis C virus