Disappearance of serum HCV-RNA after short-term prednisolone therapy in a patient with chronic hepatitis C associated with autoimmune hepatitis-like serological manifestations
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We report a 70-year-old woman with chronic hepatitis C associated with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH)-like serological manifestations, in whom elimination of hepatitis C virus (HCV) was observed after corticosteroid treatment. The patient was infected with HCV, genotype Ib, but had several laboratory findings, such as markedly elevated serum γ-globulin and IgG, characteristic of AIH, as well as a high titer of an anti-nuclear antibody. An ultrasound (US)-guided liver biopsy disclosed chronic active hepatitis F3. Corticosteroid worsened her liver function test results and raised amounts of HCV-RNA in the serum. Withdrawal of the corticosteroid led to prompt normalization of transaminase levels and the disappearance of serum HCV-RNA, determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). For 4 years, up to the time of this study, her transaminase values have been normal and HCV viremia was not detected by repeated RT-PCR. We believe this to be the first reported case in which eradication of HCV was achieved by corticosteroid therapy alone, without the introduction of interferon.
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