Member of the Egyptian Society of Study of Gastroenterology and Liver diseases (ESSGL) Member of the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) Member of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA)
Prevalence of photosensitivity in chronic hepatitis C virus patients and its relation to serum and urinary porphyrins
Article first published online: 19 MAR 2014
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Volume 34, Issue 7, pages 1033–1039, August 2014
How to Cite
Liver Int. 2014: 34: 1033–1039
- Issue published online: 17 JUL 2014
- Article first published online: 19 MAR 2014
- Accepted manuscript online: 28 FEB 2014 01:45AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 21 FEB 2014
- Manuscript Received: 9 SEP 2013
- chronic viral hepatitis;
- extrahepatic manifestations of HCV;
- porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT);
- porphyrins metabolism
Background & Aims
HCV is a major cause of chronic liver disease in Egypt. The aim was to study the prevalence of photosensitivity among asymptomatic HCV-infected patients and its possible relation to porphyrins levels and whether it can be considered an alarm for early diagnosis of the disease, which is the most important goal in the management.
This study included 100 accidentally discovered HCV positive cases and 100 HCV negative healthy controls. All patients and controls were subjected to: Detailed history and clinical examination, dermatological examination including evaluation of reaction to solar exposure, measurement of serum AST, ALT, albumin, bilirubin, serum and urinary porphyrins levels.
The prevalence of photosensitivity among HCV-positive cases (33%) was significantly higher compared to 10% in the control group. Serum porphyrins were positive in 46 cases (46%), twenty-three cases (23%) had positive urinary porphyrins, while only four controls (4%) showed positive serum porphyrins and one (1%) showed positive urinary porphyrins, the difference was statistically significant. Cases with photosensitivity showed significantly higher prevalence of serum and urinary porphyrins existence as well as serum porphyrins levels. Levels of viraemia showed statistically significant relation to levels of porphyrins.
Asymptomatic chronic HCV infection cases showed significantly high prevalence of photosensitivity, which is related to the associated disturbance of porphyrins metabolism. Photosensitivity can thus be considered an early marker of HCV infection. Patients discovered to have recently acquired photosensitivity should be screened for HCV infection especially in endemic areas like Egypt.