Lichen planus and other cutaneous manifestations in chronic hepatitis C: pre- and post-interferon-based treatment prevalence vary in a cohort of patients from low hepatitis C virus endemic area
Article first published online: 29 APR 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Volume 22, Issue 7, pages 779–788, July 2008
How to Cite
Maticic, M., Poljak, M., Lunder, T., Rener-Sitar, K. and Stojanovic, L. (2008), Lichen planus and other cutaneous manifestations in chronic hepatitis C: pre- and post-interferon-based treatment prevalence vary in a cohort of patients from low hepatitis C virus endemic area. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 22: 779–788. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2008.02676.x
- Issue published online: 6 MAY 2008
- Article first published online: 29 APR 2008
- Received: 31 July 2007, accepted 21 December 2007; DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2008.02676.x
- hair loss;
- hepatitis C;
- interferon alpha;
- lichen planus;
Background Several controversies exist regarding the relationship between hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and some cutaneous manifestations, lichen planus (LP) in particular.
Objectives To determine the prevalence of LP and other cutaneous manifestations in a cohort of patients infected with HCV from low HCV endemic area of Slovenia, to correlate findings with chosen biological variables and to assess the role of interferon (IFN)-based treatment of HCV infection in cutaneous manifestations.
Methods A total of 171 consecutive HCV-seropositive patients and 171 HCV-seronegative age- and gender-matched controls were studied prospectively. Prevalence of cutaneous manifestations, comparison between study patients and controls and correlation of skin findings with demographic, biochemical, virological and liver histologic findings as well as IFN-based therapy were assessed.
Results Overall presence of LP in HCV-seropositives was 2.3%; although LP was not found in controls, the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.123). Significantly higher than in controls was the prevalence of pruritus (31.0%, P < 0.001), dry skin (16.4%, P < 0.001) and hair loss (9.9%, P < 0.001). In IFN-based treatment naïves, skin findings were more frequent compared with controls, but not significantly, with no correlation to chosen biological variables. Current IFN-based treatment was significantly connected to pruritus (P < 0.001) and dry skin (P < 0.001). Compared with treatment naïves, in post-treated patients pruritus (odds ratio, 19.13; 95% confidence interval, 6.85–53.42; P < 0.001), dry skin (odds ratio, 4.21; 95% confidence interval, 1.44–12.31; P < 0.001) and hair loss (P < 0.001) were significantly more common.
Conclusions LP was not significantly related to HCV infection. Prevalence of pruritus, dry skin and hair loss was significantly higher in post-compared with pre-treated patients. The role of IFN in post-treatment persistence of skin manifestations needs to be assessed.