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.
Dermatology Nursing. 2006;18(5):425-430. © 2006 Jannetti Publications, Inc.
Cite this: Overview of Hepatitis C and Skin - Medscape - Oct 01, 2006.