Which physical findings are characteristic of HCV-caused viral arthritis?

Updated: Nov 12, 2019
  • Author: Rabea Ahmed Khouqeer, MD, FRCPC, FAAAAI; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Clinical features of arthritis related to hepatitis C virus [HCV] infection include the following:

  • A rapidly progressive acute arthralgia (but rarely arthritis) typically occurs in a rheumatoid distribution, affecting the hands, wrists, shoulders, knees, and hips

  • Myalgia is common

  • Essential mixed cryoglobulinemia (a triad of arthritis, palpable purpura, and cryoglobulinemia) is associated with HCV in most cases

  • Necrotizing vasculitis with cryoglobulinemia is a clinical feature

  • Essential mixed cryoglobulinemia type II or III is associated with more severe skin disease, such as Raynaud phenomenon, purpura, livedo reticularis, distal ulcers, gangrene, and peripheral neuropathy

  • Sjögren syndrome has been described in numerous patients with HCV infection

  • An association may exist between HCV infection and fibromyalgia

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