Hepatitis C virus infection and lichen planus: a systematic review with meta-analysis


Prof. Marco Carrozzo, Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dental Sciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4BW, UK. Tel: +44 191 2226797, Fax: +44 191 2226137, E-mail: marco.carrozzo@ncl.ac.uk


Oral Diseases (2010) 16, 601–612

Objective:  Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the major causes of chronic liver disease worldwide but its morbidity is also due to a variety of extra-hepatic manifestations including mixed cryoglubulinemia, non–Hodgkin lymphoma, diabetes, porphyria cutanea tarda and lichen planus. The aims of this study were to conduct a systematic review and a meta-analysis on the prevalence of HCV in lichen planus patients and on the prevalence of lichen planus in chronic HCV infection.

Materials and Method:  Bibliographic searches were conducted in several electronic databases. Pooled data were analysed by calculating odds ratios, using a random effects model.

Results and Conclusions:  Thirty-three studies comparing the seroprevalence of HCV in lichen planus patients and six reporting the prevalence of lichen planus in patients with HCV infection were included in the meta-analysis. The summary estimate showed that LP patients have significantly higher risk (odds ratio 4.85; 95% confidence interval 3.58–6.56) than controls of being HCV seropositive. A similar odds ratio of having lichen planus was found among HCV patients (4.47; 95% confidence interval 1.84–10.86). Sub-analyses indicated that variability of HCV/lichen planus association seemed only partially depending on geographic effect.