Cutaneous Manifestations of Hepatitis C

Posted by e-Medical PPT Thursday, November 8, 2012
The hepatitis C is an RNA virus.It is a major cause of both acute and chronic hepatitis. Persons become infected mainly through parenteral exposure to infected material by blood transfusions or injections with nonsterile needles. Persons who inject illegal drugs, people who snort cocaine with shared straws, and health care workers who are at risk for needlestick and other exposures are at highest risk for HCV infection. Another major risk factor for HCV is high-risk sexual behavior.

Most patients with acute and chronic infection are asymptomatic.However, chronic hepatitis C infection and chronic active hepatitis are slowly progressive diseases and result in severe morbidity in 20-30% of infected persons.

Cutaneous symptoms relevant to HCV infection manifest in 20-40% of patients presenting to dermatologists and in a significant percentage (15-20%) of general patients.

HCV is a major public health problem because it causes chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).Extrahepatic manifestations of hepatitis C virus are numerous.The most prevalent and most closely linked with HCV is essential mixed cryoglobulins with dermatologic, neurologic, renal, and rheumatologic complications. A less definite relationship to HCV is observed with systemic vasculitis, porphyria cutanea tarda, and the sicca syndromes.Extrahepatic manifestations include mixed cryoglobulinemia, porphyria cutanea tarda, leukocytoclastic vasculitis, lichen planus (LP), and sicca syndrome, all of which should be regarded as early markers of a potentially fatal chronic liver disease.
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