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Does this test have other names?

Cryofibrinogenemia, CF

What is this test?

This test looks for an abnormal protein called cryofibrinogen in your blood plasma.

People who have this abnormal protein may get a disorder called cryofibrinogenemia. The disorder rarely causes symptoms. But if it is not treated, it can become life-threatening and lead to stroke, heart attack, gangrene, or other health emergencies. 

Why do I need this test?

You may have this test to find out whether you have cryofibrinogenemia. Or your healthcare provider may order it to see how well your treatment for cryofibrinogenemia is working. When this disorder causes signs and symptoms, they may include:

  • Sensitivity to cold, including itching, redness, swelling, or hives

  • Red or purple marks on the skin, a condition called purpura

  • Skin sores (lesions and ulcers)

  • Stroke

  • Heart attack

  • Poor circulation

  • A blood clot in the lungs (pulmonary embolism)

  • Swelling caused by a blood clot, usually in the legs (phlebitis)

  • Joint pain

  • Inflammation of your kidneys (glomerulonephritis)

There are two types of cryofibrinogenemia. Primary or essential cryofibrinogenemia happens without any other health conditions. It is quite rare. Secondary cryofibrinogenemia happens with a range of other disorders. These include:

  • Certain cancers, such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma and colorectal cancer

  • Infections, such as sepsis, tuberculosis, streptococcus, herpes, and hepatitis C

  • Connective tissue disorders, such as lupus or Crohn's disease

  • Vasculitis, a disorder caused by inflammation of blood vessels 

What other tests might I have along with this test?

Your healthcare provider will order other tests if your cryofibrinogen test shows that you have cryofibrinogenemia. To diagnose primary cryofibrinogenemia, your provider may order an angiogram to look for blocked arteries. Or he or she may order a biopsy of affected tissue.

Additional tests depend on your symptoms and history, but may include screenings for cancer, infection, and inflammatory diseases.  

What do my test results mean?

Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare provider.

Your test results show whether and how much cryofibrinogen is in your blood plasma. Healthy people can have a small amount of this protein in their blood, so a positive result alone doesn't necessarily mean that you have a problem.    

How is this test done?

The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your arm.

Does this test pose any risks?

Taking a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection, bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.

What might affect my test results?

If you are taking a blood thinner containing heparin, you may get a false-positive test result. 

How do I get ready for this test?

You don't need to prepare for this test. But, be sure your healthcare provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.


Medical Reviewers:

  • Sather, Rita, RN
  • Ziegler, Olivia Walton, MS, PA-C