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Cryofibrinogen Blood Test

Last updated April 27, 2018

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD, MPH

The Cryofibrinogen Blood Test detects the presence of cryofibrinogen in blood. It is used to aid in the diagnosis of cryofibrinogenemia.

What are other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • CF Blood Test

What is Cryofibrinogen Blood Test? (Background Information)

  • Cryofibrinogen is an abnormal complex of blood proteins that precipitates and hardens when exposed to cold temperatures. This rarely causes symptoms, but because it obstructs the flow of blood, it may cause a life-threatening condition
  • Cryofibrinogen refers to a complex of proteins that are found to precipitate in blood plasma as opposed to serum. If a precipitate forms in cold serum, it is called cryoglobulin (and not cryofibrinogen)
  • Plasma is the liquid left behind after a blood sample has been stripped of cells through centrifugation. Serum is the liquid left behind after blood has clotted and been centrifuged
  • Clotting removes fibrin, fibrinogen, and other components associated with blood clot formation. This is the difference in composition between serum and plasma – plasma has not been made to clot and still contains clotting components
  • Cryofibrinogen is susceptible to clumping when the temperature of blood falls below normal (37°C), especially in the fingers. Clumped cryofibrinogen interferes with blood flow. This is problematic because tissues in the extremities may become starved for oxygen
  • Cryofibrinogen may also elicit an immune response if it clumps together. This causes inflammation, clotting, and circulatory problems
  • Symptoms caused by cryofibrinogen, though rare, are associated with Raynaud’s phenomenon. This includes skin discoloration and tingling of the extremities. Most commonly, this involves the fingers and toes
  • The Cryofibrinogen Blood Test detects the presence of cryofibrinogen in blood. It is used to aid in the diagnosis of cryofibrinogenemia

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Cryofibrinogen Blood Test?

The clinical indications for performing the Cryofibrinogen Blood Test include signs and symptoms related to the extremities (hands and feet) such as the following:

  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Paleness
  • Weakness
  • Swelling
  • Tingling

How is the Specimen Collected for the Cryofibrinogen Blood Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for Cryofibrinogen Blood Test:

Sample required: Blood

Process of obtaining blood sample in adults:

  • A band is wrapped around the arm, 3-4 inches above the collection site (superficial vein that lies within the elbow pit)
  • The site is cleaned with 70% alcohol in an outward spiral, away from the zone of needle insertion
  • The needle cap is removed and is held in line with the vein, pulling the skin tight
  • With a small and quick thrust, the vein is penetrated using the needle
  • The required amount of blood sample is collected by pulling the plunger of the syringe out slowly
  • The wrap band is removed, gauze is placed on the collection site, and the needle is removed
  • The blood is immediately transferred into the blood container, which has the appropriate preservative/clot activator/anti-coagulant
  • The syringe and the needle are disposed into the appropriate “sharp container” for safe and hygienic disposal

Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test.

What is the Significance of the Cryofibrinogen Blood Test Result?

A positive value for the Cryofibrinogen Blood Test may indicate:

  • Vasculitis
  • Hematologic and solid neoplasms
  • Thromboembolic conditions
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Infection
  • Scleroderma

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

  • Certain factors may interfere with the results of the Cryofibrinogen Blood Test. These include eating a fatty meal prior to performing the test, which may increase the viscosity of blood and interfere with the analysis

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

The following DoveMed website link is a useful resource for additional information: 


Please visit our Laboratory Procedures Center for more physician-approved health information:


References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Jan. 14, 2016
Last updated: April 27, 2018