Prevalence of rheumatologic manifestations of chronic hepatitis C virus infection among Egyptians.

R, M., E. M. H, E. G, G. A, M. F, E. K. M, M. N, and A. H. M, "Prevalence of rheumatologic manifestations of chronic hepatitis C virus infection among Egyptians.", Clin Rheumatol, vol. 12, pp. 1373-1380, 2010.


Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) viremia has been known to provoke a plethora of autoimmune syndromes referred to as extrahepatic manifestations of chronic HCV infection. Aim of the current study was to assess the prevalence of rheumatologic manifestations among Egyptians with hepatitis C infection and its' association with cryoglobulin profile. The current research represents a cross-sectional study where patients with chronic HCV infection attending the outpatient clinic of the National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute over a period of 1 year were interviewed. Patients with decompensated liver disease, on interferon therapy, having end-stage renal disease or coexisting viral infection like hepatitis B surface antibody positive patients were all excluded from the research. Laboratory investigations as well as serological assay including cryoglobulin profile, rheumatoid factor, antinuclear antibody, HCV-PCR were performed. Three hundred and six patients having chronic HCV infection were interviewed in this research. The overall estimated prevalence of rheumatologic manifestations in the current research was 16.39%, chronic fatigue syndrome 9.5%, sicca symptoms 8.8%, arthralgia 6.5%, fibromyalgia 1.9%, myalgia 1.3%, arthritis 0.7%, cryoglobulinemic vasculitis 0.7%, autoimmune hemolytic anemia 0.7%, thrombocytopenia 0.7%. Xerophthalmia was significantly present in male population (p = 0.04), whereas fibromyalgia, cryoglobulinemic vasculitis, arthritis, and autoimmune hemolytic anemia were significantly present in female population under study (p < 0.05). In chronic HCV genotype 4 infection, the prevalence of rheumatologic manifestations was 16.3% with chronic fatigue syndrome and sicca symptoms being the most common with no significant correlation to the degree of elevation of liver disease or viral load.