Frequency of Cutaneous Manifestations in Patients of Hepatitis C Virus Infection
Objective: To determine the frequency of cutaneous manifestations of hepatitis C infection in patients pre-senting in a tertiary care hospital.
Study Design: Descriptive study.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Derma-tology, King Edward Medical University / Mayo Hospital, Lahore, from 1st January, 2009 to 30th June, 2009.Methodology: A descriptive (observational) study was conducted in the hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected patients, attending the Skin Department during a period of six months. The patients were diagnosed as HCV positive by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and / or polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A thorough medical history was taken and a detailed cutaneous examination was carried out in every pat-ient.
Results: A total of 180 patients were enrolled. Out of them, 95 (52.8%) were males and 85 (47.2%) females. Most of the patients were in the age group of 21 – 30 years. Thirty five (19.4%) patients were taking treat-ment of hepatitis C. Pruritus was the most common dermatological feature seen in 33.8%, followed by lichen planus in 27.2%. Less common manifestations noted were utricaria (7.8%), vitiligo (5.6%), mixed cryoglobulinemia (4.4%), erythema nodosum (2.8%), erythema multiforme (2.2%), porphyria cutanea tarda (1.1%) and necrolytic acral erythema (1.1%). The signs of chronic liver disease (palmar erythema, jaun-dice, spider naevi, telangiectasia, leukonychia) were found in 13.8% of patients.
Conclusion: Hepatitis C virus infection is associated with a number of extra-hepatic cutaneous manifesta-tions which may help to identify the silent cases of this grave disease.Key words: Hepatitis C Virus, Cutaneous manifesta-tions, Pruritus, Lichen planus
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