Cryoglobulin: An abnormal blood protein that has the unusual properties of precipitating from the blood serum when it is chilled (hence the “cryo-“) and redissolving when it is rewarmed. Cryoglobulins are gamma globulins with a molecular weight of approximately 200,000.
Cryoglobulins can cause problems by causing the blood to be abnormally “thick” which increases the risk of blood clots forming in the brain (stroke), eyes, and heart. Cryoglobulins are also associated with inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis) which increases the risk of blockage of arteries.
Cryoglobulins are a key part of a condition called essential mixed cryoglobulinemia. Cryoglobulins can also accompany diseases such as multiple myeloma, dermatomyositis, and lymphoma. Sometimes small amounts of cryoglobulin are discovered by accident in the lab in a serum sample from someone with no apparent symptoms.
Cryoglobulinemia: The presence in blood of abnormal proteins called cryoglobulins that have the unusual property of precipitating from the blood serum when it is chilled and redissolving upon rewarming. Cryoglobulins can increase the risk of blood clots forming in the brain (stroke), eyes, and heart. Cryoglobulins can also cause inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis), which […]
Cryophobia: An abnormal and persistent fear of cold, including cold weather and cold objects. Sufferers from cryophobia experience anxiety even though they realize their fear is irrational. To avoid cold, they may live in a warm climate, dress more warmly than necessary, stay indoors on cold days, and avoid cold foods and ice cubes. “Cryophobia” […]
Cryopreservation: The process of cooling and storing cells, tissues, or organs at very low temperatures to maintain their viability. For example, the technology of cooling and storing cells at a temperature below the freezing point (‘196’ C) permits high rates of survivability of the cells upon thawing.
Cryoprobe: A surgical probe, a long slender pointed surgical instrument, used to apply extreme cold to tissues. From cryo- from the Greek kryos meaning cold + probe.
Cryoprotectant: A chemical component of a freezing solution used in cryopreservation to help protect what is being frozen from freeze damage. The chemical glycerol, for example, is commonly used as a cryoprotectant to protect frozen red blood cells.