A Peripheral Smear Finding Beyond Cells: Cryoglobulins in a Case of Lymphoplasmacytic Lymphoma


  • All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Department of Hematology, New Delhi, Delhi, India


A well prepared peripheral smear is an indispensable requisite for the diagnosis of hematological disorders and in some situations, non-hematological diseases. Here, we present the typical hemogram and peripheral smear findings of circulating cryoglobulins that led to the unraveling of the underlying lymphoproliferative disorder. A 51-year lady presented with symptoms of anemia since four months. Her hemogram showed anemia and leucopenia with flagging of platelet count. Peripheral smear at room temperature revealed marked artefactual changes in red blood cells including fragmentation. The morphology was better appreciated after incubating the sample at 37°C and showed normocytic normochromic RBCs, thrombocytopenia with a few lymphoplasmacytic cells and amorphous pinkish material in the background. Bone marrow examination showed near total replacement of marrow spaces by lymphoid cells positive for CD20 and CD138 and was diagnosed as lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma. Cryoglobulins can thus cause a range of laboratory artefacts which need to be recognized, warranting further search for possible underlying etiologies.


Artifacts, Cryoglobulinemia, Peripheral-Smear, Pseudothrombocytosis

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