Cryoglobulins are often estimated by determining cryocrit or total protein content in the cryoprecipitate, but these are only indirect measures. Direct quantification of immunoglobulins in combination with agarose gel electrophoresis, to appreciate the presence of other proteins in the cryoprecipitate, offers a more sensitive and specific tool for confirming the diagnosis of cryoglobulinemia. Using such strategy, we established reference values for immunoglobulins in cryoprecipitate in diseased controls and applied them to 214 consecutive patients. The 97.5th percentile for IgA, IgG and IgM in diseased controls was 2, 11 and 26 mg/L serum, respectively. The distribution of the 49 positive patients (23%) was 10% type I, 33% type IIa, 16% type IIb, and 41% type III. Complement C4 was decreased in 61% and 55% of the patients classified as type II and type III compared to 16% of the patients that were negative for cryoglobulins and 9% of the diseased controls.