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Extrahepatic immunological complications of hepatitis C virus infection

Vassilopoulos, Dimitrios; Calabrese, Leonard H

Section III: Neurological and neuropsychiatric complications

Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is frequently associated with a number of extrahepatic complications. In the majority of cases the underlying pathogenetic mechanisms are immune mediated, as evidenced by the presence of circulating autoantibodies (mixed cryoglobulinemia), whereas for others a localized host cellular immune response is implicated (e.g. sialadenitis, lichen planus). In this review, the latest data on the pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of the most common autoimmune extrahepatic manifestations of chronic HCV infection are presented.

From the Academic Department of Medicine, Athens University School of Medicine, Hippokration General Hospital, Athens, Greece.

Correspondence to Leonard H. Calabrese, DO, Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Diseases, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195-5028, USA. Tel: +1 216 444 5258; fax: +1 216 445 7569; e-mail:

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.