Overview of Hepatitis C and Skin

Connie M. Chung; Julia R. Nunley


Dermatology Nursing. 2006;18(5):425-430. 

In This Article


HCV is both hepatotrophic and lymphotropic, but does not appear to be a cytopathic virus (Lauer & Walker, 2001; Pawlotsky, 2004; Poynard et al., 2003). Even though the exact mechanism(s) through which HCV causes disease is unknown, most of its consequences appear to be immunologically mediated (Heydtmann, Shields, McCaughan, & Adamas, 2001; Poynard et al., 2003). Studies suggest that the host's immunologic response to HCV is an alteration in CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses and B-cell stimulation with proliferation, clonal expansion, and excessive production of autoantibodies (Dammacco, Sansonno, Piccoli, Tucci, & Racanelli, 2001; Pawlotsky, 2004). These changes are self-preserving, as they allow the virus to go unchecked and multiply freely. In addition, many of the cutaneous and extracutaneous complications of HCV can be attributed to these immunologic modifications.


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