Cryoglobulinemic Vasculitis in Disguise: Cryofibrinogenemia as Variant of Monoclonal Gammopathy of Renal Significance

Monoclonal gammopathy with cryoactivity (ie, cryoglobulins) that causes glomerulonephritis is considered within the spectrum of monoclonal gammopathy of renal significance. Cryofibrinogenemia (cryoactivity of coagulation factors) is very rarely associated with glomerulonephritis. We present a 39-year-old woman with a relapsing nephrotic syndrome. Laboratory investigation detected cryofibrinogen; the precipitate consisted of fibrinogen and a monoclonal immunoglobulin (M-protein; IgG-λ), and the latter was also detected in serum (4g/L). Initial conventional immunosuppressive therapy resulted in temporary renal remission. In view of the M-protein, subsequent therapy consisted of bortezomib/dexamethasone and high-dose melphalan followed by autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and resulted in a very good partial hematological response and temporary renal remission. However, after hematological and renal relapse, we performed unique experiments to clarify the role of the M-protein. Mixing patient serum with donor plasma resulted in cryoactivity, composed of M-protein+fibrinogen. Patient plasma deprived of M-protein did not have cryoactivity. Therefore, cryoactivity was dependent on the M-protein. We started lenalidomide, which resulted in very good partial hematological and renal remission. Thus, cryofibrinogenemia can be the consequence of an M-protein, which we suggest should be defined as monoclonal gammopathy of renal significance.

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