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June 30, 1956


JAMA. 1956;161(9):865-866. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.62970090006017c

In 1953 Martin and Mathieson introduced the term pyroglobulinemia as the antithesis of cryglobulinemia to designate the condition in which the blood serum contains heat-coagulable globulin.1 Since serologic tests for syphilis are routinely done in most institutions, pyroglobulins may be readily detected in the course of inactivating serum complement at 56 C. Though rare, pyroglobulinemia has a high degree of correlation with multiple myeloma. Collier, Reich, and King found record of 4 instances of heat-coagulable serum proteins in the performance of over 800,000 routine serologic tests for syphilis at the Cleveland Clinic.2 All four patients had multiple myeloma, although the significance of the abnormal serum characteristic was appreciated before death in but one instance. In reviewing the literature, Collier and his co-workers were able to cite no more than 20 cases of multiple myeloma in which heat-coagulable proteins were found. In most instances the abnormal reaction was attributed