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Liver Involvement in the Syndrome of Mixed Cryoglobulinemia

YORAM LEVO, M.D.; PETER D. GOREVIC, M.D.; HANNA J. KASSAB, M.D.; HILLEL TOBIAS, M.D.; and EDWARD C. FRANKLIN, M.D.
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▸ Requests for reprints should be addressed to Edward C. Franklin, M.D.; School of Medicine, New York University Medical Center, 550 First Ave.; New York, NY 10016.


New York, New York


Ann Intern Med. 1977;87(3):287-292. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-87-3-287
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A study of liver abnormalities in 36 patients with mixed cryoglobulinemia in the absence of underlying infectious, connective tissue, or lymphoproliferative disorders revealed clinical or biochemical evidence of liver dysfunction in 84%. Hepatomegaly was detected in 77%, splenomegaly in 54%, and abnormalities in bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, or serum glutamic oxalacetic transaminase in 77%. Only four of the patients had overt liver disease. Of 15 biopsies from 12 patients, there was normal tissue structure in two, minimal nonspecific changes in one, portal fibrosis in three, chronic persistent hepatitis in one, chronic active hepatitis in two, chronic active hepatitis with cirrhosis in four, and postnecrotic cirrhosis in two. These findings, together with the previously reported high incidence of serologic evidence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, support the view that the syndrome of purpura, arthritis, and nephritis is often a consequence of immune-complex vasculitis secondary to HBV infection.

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