Cryoglobulins: Abnormal immunoglobulins, especially IGG or IGM, that precipitate spontaneously when SERUM is cooled below 37 degrees Celsius. It is characteristic of CRYOGLOBULINEMIA.Cryoglobulinemia: A condition characterized by the presence of abnormal quantities of CRYOGLOBULINS in the blood. Upon cold exposure, these abnormal proteins precipitate into the microvasculature leading to restricted blood flow in the exposed areas.Paraproteinemias: A group of related diseases characterized by an unbalanced or disproportionate proliferation of immunoglobulin-producing cells, usually from a single clone. These cells frequently secrete a structurally homogeneous immunoglobulin (M-component) and/or an abnormal immunoglobulin.Rheumatoid Factor: Antibodies found in adult RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS patients that are directed against GAMMA-CHAIN IMMUNOGLOBULINS.Complement Activating Enzymes: Enzymes that activate one or more COMPLEMENT PROTEINS in the complement system leading to the formation of the COMPLEMENT MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX, an important response in host defense. They are enzymes in the various COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION pathways.Antigen-Antibody Complex: The complex formed by the binding of antigen and antibody molecules. The deposition of large antigen-antibody complexes leading to tissue damage causes IMMUNE COMPLEX DISEASES.Vasculitis, Leukocytoclastic, Cutaneous: Disorder characterized by a vasculitic syndrome associated with exposure to an antigen such as a drug, infectious agent, or other foreign or endogenous substance. Its pathophysiology includes immune complex deposition and a wide range of skin lesions. Hypersensitivity or allergy is present in some but not all cases.Immunoglobulin G: The major immunoglobulin isotype class in normal human serum. There are several isotype subclasses of IgG, for example, IgG1, IgG2A, and IgG2B.Complement C1q: A subcomponent of complement C1, composed of six copies of three polypeptide chains (A, B, and C), each encoded by a separate gene (C1QA; C1QB; C1QC). This complex is arranged in nine subunits (six disulfide-linked dimers of A and B, and three disulfide-linked homodimers of C). C1q has binding sites for antibodies (the heavy chain of IMMUNOGLOBULIN G or IMMUNOGLOBULIN M). The interaction of C1q and immunoglobulin activates the two proenzymes COMPLEMENT C1R and COMPLEMENT C1S, thus initiating the cascade of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION via the CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT PATHWAY.Complement C3: A glycoprotein that is central in both the classical and the alternative pathway of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION. C3 can be cleaved into COMPLEMENT C3A and COMPLEMENT C3B, spontaneously at low level or by C3 CONVERTASE at high level. The smaller fragment C3a is an ANAPHYLATOXIN and mediator of local inflammatory process. The larger fragment C3b binds with C3 convertase to form C5 convertase.Complement C4: A glycoprotein that is important in the activation of CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT PATHWAY. C4 is cleaved by the activated COMPLEMENT C1S into COMPLEMENT C4A and COMPLEMENT C4B.Immunoglobulin M: A class of immunoglobulin bearing mu chains (IMMUNOGLOBULIN MU-CHAINS). IgM can fix COMPLEMENT. The name comes from its high molecular weight and originally being called a macroglobulin.Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic: Antibodies which react with the individual structural determinants (idiotopes) on the variable region of other antibodies.Glomerulonephritis, Membranoproliferative: Chronic glomerulonephritis characterized histologically by proliferation of MESANGIAL CELLS, increase in the MESANGIAL EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX, and a thickening of the glomerular capillary walls. This may appear as a primary disorder or secondary to other diseases including infections and autoimmune disease SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS. Various subtypes are classified by their abnormal ultrastructures and immune deposits. Hypocomplementemia is a characteristic feature of all types of MPGN.Hepatitis C, Chronic: INFLAMMATION of the LIVER in humans that is caused by HEPATITIS C VIRUS lasting six months or more. Chronic hepatitis C can lead to LIVER CIRRHOSIS.Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia: A lymphoproliferative disorder characterized by pleomorphic B-LYMPHOCYTES including PLASMA CELLS, with increased levels of monoclonal serum IMMUNOGLOBULIN M. There is lymphoplasmacytic cells infiltration into bone marrow and often other tissues, also known as lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma. Clinical features include ANEMIA; HEMORRHAGES; and hyperviscosity.Nephritis: Inflammation of any part of the KIDNEY.Immunodiffusion: Technique involving the diffusion of antigen or antibody through a semisolid medium, usually agar or agarose gel, with the result being a precipitin reaction.Nephelometry and Turbidimetry: Chemical analysis based on the phenomenon whereby light, passing through a medium with dispersed particles of a different refractive index from that of the medium, is attenuated in intensity by scattering. In turbidimetry, the intensity of light transmitted through the medium, the unscattered light, is measured. In nephelometry, the intensity of the scattered light is measured, usually, but not necessarily, at right angles to the incident light beam.Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic: A chronic, relapsing, inflammatory, and often febrile multisystemic disorder of connective tissue, characterized principally by involvement of the skin, joints, kidneys, and serosal membranes. It is of unknown etiology, but is thought to represent a failure of the regulatory mechanisms of the autoimmune system. The disease is marked by a wide range of system dysfunctions, an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and the formation of LE cells in the blood or bone marrow.Antibodies, Antinuclear: Autoantibodies directed against various nuclear antigens including DNA, RNA, histones, acidic nuclear proteins, or complexes of these molecular elements. Antinuclear antibodies are found in systemic autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren's syndrome, scleroderma, polymyositis, and mixed connective tissue disease.Complement System Proteins: Serum glycoproteins participating in the host defense mechanism of COMPLEMENT ACTIVATION that creates the COMPLEMENT MEMBRANE ATTACK COMPLEX. Included are glycoproteins in the various pathways of complement activation (CLASSICAL COMPLEMENT PATHWAY; ALTERNATIVE COMPLEMENT PATHWAY; and LECTIN COMPLEMENT PATHWAY).Hepatitis C: INFLAMMATION of the LIVER in humans caused by HEPATITIS C VIRUS, a single-stranded RNA virus. Its incubation period is 30-90 days. Hepatitis C is transmitted primarily by contaminated blood parenterally, and is often associated with transfusion and intravenous drug abuse. However, in a significant number of cases, the source of hepatitis C infection is unknown.Laboratories: Facilities equipped to carry out investigative procedures.Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures: Methods, procedures, and tests performed to diagnose disease, disordered function, or disability.Menu PlanningReflex: An involuntary movement or exercise of function in a part, excited in response to a stimulus applied to the periphery and transmitted to the brain or spinal cord.Plasticizers: Materials incorporated mechanically in plastics (usually PVC) to increase flexibility, workability or distensibility; due to the non-chemical inclusion, plasticizers leach out from the plastic and are found in body fluids and the general environment.Macroglobulins: Serum globulins with high molecular weight. (Dorland, 28th ed)Systemic Vasculitis: A heterogeneous group of diseases characterized by inflammation and necrosis of the blood vessel walls.Antibodies, Catalytic: Antibodies that can catalyze a wide variety of chemical reactions. They are characterized by high substrate specificity and share many mechanistic features with enzymes.Surgically-Created Structures: Organs or parts of organs surgically formed from nearby tissue to function as substitutes for diseased or surgically removed tissue.Crystallography, X-Ray: The study of crystal structure using X-RAY DIFFRACTION techniques. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Vasculitis: Inflammation of any one of the blood vessels, including the ARTERIES; VEINS; and rest of the vasculature system in the body.Polyarteritis Nodosa: A form of necrotizing non-granulomatous inflammation occurring primarily in medium-sized ARTERIES, often with microaneurysms. It is characterized by muscle, joint, and abdominal pain resulting from arterial infarction and scarring in affected organs. Polyarteritis nodosa with lung involvement is called CHURG-STRAUSS SYNDROME.Programmed Instruction as Topic: Instruction in which learners progress at their own rate using workbooks, textbooks, or electromechanical devices that provide information in discrete steps, test learning at each step, and provide immediate feedback about achievement. (ERIC, Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors, 1996).Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic: Autoantibodies directed against cytoplasmic constituents of POLYMORPHONUCLEAR LEUKOCYTES and/or MONOCYTES. They are used as specific markers for GRANULOMATOSIS WITH POLYANGIITIS and other diseases, though their pathophysiological role is not clear. ANCA are routinely detected by indirect immunofluorescence with three different patterns: c-ANCA (cytoplasmic), p-ANCA (perinuclear), and atypical ANCA.Rheumatology: A subspecialty of internal medicine concerned with the study of inflammatory or degenerative processes and metabolic derangement of connective tissue structures which pertain to a variety of musculoskeletal disorders, such as arthritis.Churg-Strauss Syndrome: Widespread necrotizing angiitis with granulomas. Pulmonary involvement is frequent. Asthma or other respiratory infection may precede evidence of vasculitis. Eosinophilia and lung involvement differentiate this disease from POLYARTERITIS NODOSA.Blood Component Transfusion: The transfer of blood components such as erythrocytes, leukocytes, platelets, and plasma from a donor to a recipient or back to the donor. This process differs from the procedures undertaken in PLASMAPHERESIS and types of CYTAPHERESIS; (PLATELETPHERESIS and LEUKAPHERESIS) where, following the removal of plasma or the specific cell components, the remainder is transfused back to the donor.Blood Transfusion: The introduction of whole blood or blood component directly into the blood stream. (Dorland, 27th ed)Blood Banks: Centers for collecting, characterizing and storing human blood.Filtration: A process of separating particulate matter from a fluid, such as air or a liquid, by passing the fluid carrier through a medium that will not pass the particulates. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Centrifugation, Zonal: Centrifugation using a rotating chamber of large capacity in which to separate cell organelles by density-gradient centrifugation. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Platelet Transfusion: The transfer of blood platelets from a donor to a recipient or reinfusion to the donor.Blood Component Removal: Any procedure in which blood is withdrawn from a donor, a portion is separated and retained and the remainder is returned to the donor.Patents as Topic: Exclusive legal rights or privileges applied to inventions, plants, etc.Lipoproteins, IDL: A mixture of very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), particularly the triglyceride-poor VLDL, with slow diffuse electrophoretic mobilities in the beta and alpha2 regions which are similar to that of beta-lipoproteins (LDL) or alpha-lipoproteins (HDL). They can be intermediate (remnant) lipoproteins in the de-lipidation process, or remnants of mutant CHYLOMICRONS and VERY-LOW-DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS which cannot be metabolized completely as seen in FAMILIAL DYSBETALIPOPROTEINEMIA.Centrifugation: Process of using a rotating machine to generate centrifugal force to separate substances of different densities, remove moisture, or simulate gravitational effects. It employs a large motor-driven apparatus with a long arm, at the end of which human and animal subjects, biological specimens, or equipment can be revolved and rotated at various speeds to study gravitational effects. (From Websters, 10th ed; McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Blood Platelets: Non-nucleated disk-shaped cells formed in the megakaryocyte and found in the blood of all mammals. They are mainly involved in blood coagulation.Platelet Aggregation: The attachment of PLATELETS to one another. This clumping together can be induced by a number of agents (e.g., THROMBIN; COLLAGEN) and is part of the mechanism leading to the formation of a THROMBUS.Lipoproteins: Lipid-protein complexes involved in the transportation and metabolism of lipids in the body. They are spherical particles consisting of a hydrophobic core of TRIGLYCERIDES and CHOLESTEROL ESTERS surrounded by a layer of hydrophilic free CHOLESTEROL; PHOSPHOLIPIDS; and APOLIPOPROTEINS. Lipoproteins are classified by their varying buoyant density and sizes.Lipoproteins, VLDL: A class of lipoproteins of very light (0.93-1.006 g/ml) large size (30-80 nm) particles with a core composed mainly of TRIGLYCERIDES and a surface monolayer of PHOSPHOLIPIDS and CHOLESTEROL into which are imbedded the apolipoproteins B, E, and C. VLDL facilitates the transport of endogenously made triglycerides to extrahepatic tissues. As triglycerides and Apo C are removed, VLDL is converted to INTERMEDIATE-DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS, then to LOW-DENSITY LIPOPROTEINS from which cholesterol is delivered to the extrahepatic tissues.