What are the primary and secondary causation of cutaneous symptoms of chronic hepatitis C (CHC)?

Updated: Apr 19, 2019
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Chronic hepatitis C infection is associated with many extrahepatic manifestations in joints, muscles, neural and gastrointestinal tissues, and skin. In this article, the many dermatologic manifestations of hepatitis C virus (HCV) are classified according to diseases with proven or suspected etiology or causation.

Primary causation results from direct infection of HCV in the skin, lymphocytes, dendric antigen-presenting cells, and blood vessels. An example of this type of disorder is the recent finding of epidermal cells with HCV-RNA particles.

Secondary causation occurs when HCV infection manifests in the skin due to epiphenomena resulting from the disruption of immune responses. Leukocytoclastic vasculitis due to cryoglobulinemia is a good example of a specific skin manifestation resulting from the production of immunoglobulins, with rheumatoid characteristics causing an immune complex–mediated vasculitis.


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