What is the disease progression of hepatitis C (Hep C)?

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 occurs after the acute infection in 70% of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV), which represents a high rate of chronicity for a viral infection. The development of chronic infection is not matched by the development of symptoms. Patients with chronic hepatitis C infection often have no symptoms for long periods.

Symptoms often first develop as clinical findings of extrahepatic manifestations of HCV. In a large study of the extrahepatic manifestations of HCV, 74% of medical workers with HCV infection demonstrated extrahepatic manifestations. [40] Arthralgias (23%), paraesthesias (17%), myalgias (15%), pruritus (15%), and sicca syndrome (11%) were the most commonly occurring extrahepatic manifestations.


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