Extrahepatic manifestations of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are common. The authors report the unusual occurrence of desquamative interstitial pneumonia (DIP) in a patient with HCV. An immunologic response to HCV infection may have a role in the pathogenesis of DIP in patients with chronic HCV. Since DIP is treatable, HCV patients with pulmonary infiltrates should be thoroughly investigated for this disorder. In our experience, the use of steroids in HCV-associated DIP improved the patient’s respiratory status without increasing the viral load.
* Extrahepatic manifestations of hepatitis C virus infection, including involvement of the respiratory system, are common.
* Desquamative interstitial pneumonitis appears to be a rare complication of hepatitis C virus infection.
* Treatment of the affected patient’s desquamative interstitial pneumonitis with glucocorticosteroids did not result in an increased viral load.