What are symptoms of chronic hepatitis C (CHC)?

Updated: Mar 26, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Cryoglobulinemia was demonstrated in 50% of patients, and HCV is the most common cause of this condition. Vasculitis, arterial hypertension, purpura, LP, arthralgias, and low thyroxine levels were associated with titers positive for cryoglobulin. Biologic manifestations common to chronic hepatitis C infection include titers positive for serum cryoglobulins (40-56%), antinuclear antibody (ANA) (10%), low thyroxine (10%), and anti–smooth muscle antibody (7%). Risk factors for manifestations of extrahepatic chronic hepatitis C infection include advanced age, female sex, and liver fibrosis.

Symptoms and clinical findings are most common in the joints, muscle, and skin. Arthralgias occurred in 20% of patients, skin manifestations in 17%, sicca syndrome in 23%, and sensory neuropathy in 9%. [44]

Thrombocytopenia occurs in approximately 10% of patients. One or more autoantibodies frequently occur in chronic hepatitis C infection; these autoantibodies include ANA (41%), rheumatoid factor (38%), anticardiolipin antibody (27%), antithyroid antibody (13%), and anti–smooth muscle antibody (9%). One autoantibody was present in 70% of sera.

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