Author(s): Dedania B, Wu GY
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Abstract Hepatitis C virus (HCV) affects millions of people worldwide, and an estimated 3.2 million people in the United States. HCV is a hepatotropic and lymphotropic virus that causes not only liver disease, but also a significant number of extrahepatic manifestations (EHMs). Up to 74\% of patients affected by HCV will have HCV-related EHMs of some severity in their lifetime. The EHMs vary from simple cutaneous palpable purpura to complex lymphoproliferative disorders, including lymphomas and immune-complex deposit diseases causing local and/or systemic complications. Mixed cryoglobulinemia (MC) is manifested by multiple systemic organ involvement, mainly skin, kidney, peripheral nerves, and salivary glands, and less frequently causes widespread vasculitis and malignant lymphoma. MC affects up to 3\% of HCV-infected patients with cryoglobulinemia of clinical significance, i.e. >6\%. Severe disease requires immunosuppressive or plasma exchange therapy. HCV prevalence in the United States in patients with porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) was reported to be 66\%, much higher than that in general population. Therefore, all patients with PCT should be screened for HCV. The skin rash of PCT varies from large blisters to small vesicles and/or milia on the hands. Skin manifestations due to PCT usually respond to anti-HCV treatment together with reducing skin sun exposure, avoiding triggers, having routine phlebotomy (especially for people with chronic iron overload states), and using chloroquine. Lichen planus (LP), which typically affects both the skin and oral mucosa is a chronic inflammatory disease of squamous cell origin affecting about 1\% of the worldwide population. The prevalence of HCV in patients with LP varies based on geographic location. We review here the basic pathophysiology, clinical features, and management of dermatologic manifestations of HCV.
This article was published in J Clin Transl Hepatol
and referenced in General Medicine: Open Access