, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 138-144
Date: 26 Apr 2009

Immunologic complications of the hepatitis C virus

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An increasingly wide variety of extrahepatic manifestations have been reported in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Many are immunologic in nature and may be precipitated by interferon-based therapy. Among these associations, mixed cryoglobulinemia is the most prevalent and best characterized. Additional HCV-related immunologic complications include autoantibody production, rheumatologic disorders, immune-mediated cytopenias, and lymphoproliferative disorders; the certainty of association varies for many of these conditions. The mechanisms through which HCV induces these complications are incompletely understood. In this review, we discuss the immunologic complications of HCV infection, focusing on their epidemiology, pathogenesis, and treatment.