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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 1999 January-February;90(1-2):1-6

language: Italian

Chronic hepatitis due to HCV and cryoglobulinaemia: the associated clinical spectrum

Pellicano R., Leone N., Maiocco I. A., Modena V., Arena V., Marietti G., Puiatti P., Palmas F., Rizzetto M., Ponzetto A.


Background and aim. The hepatitis C infection (HCV) has numerous extrahepatic manifestations owing to the systemic nature of the infection itself. HCV infects the cells that carry a CD 81 receptor and show a marked tropism for hepatocytes, bone marrow staminal cells and circulating lymphomonocytes. One consequence of this tropism is the activation of B lymphocyte clones with the consequent production of autoantibodies and cryoglobulins. The secondary event is the formation of circulating immune complexes which, having precipitated at an intravascular level, may cause part of the extrahepatic manifestations associated with these infections. Methods. This retrospective study evaluated the manifestations correlated and/or associated with HCV hepatitis and mixed cryoglobulinaemia. Results. This analysis showed that 75% of consecutively studied patients reveal clinically important extrahepatic manifestations. Conclusions. This underlines the ''broad spectrum'' action played by the hepatitis C virus in the host organism.

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