Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Rheumatol. 2001 Jan;28(1):109-18.

Systemic vasculitis in patients with hepatitis C.

Author information

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, H pital La Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France. patrice.cacoub@psl.ap-hop-paris.fr



To analyze the main characteristics of patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) presenting with different types of vasculitis syndrome.


We retrospectively compared 2 groups of patients with HCV presenting with systemic vasculitis: 10 with biopsy proven polyarteritis nodosa-type systemic vasculitis (PAN, Group 1) and 7 with mixed cryoglobulinemia syndrome (MC, Group 2).


Patients of Group 1 presented with different features than Group 2: life threatening systemic vasculitis (10 vs 0; p < 0.01), severe multifocal sensorimotor mononeuropathies versus distal moderate sensory polyneuropathies, malignant hypertension (5 vs 0; p = 0.04), cerebral angiitis (2 vs 0), ischemic abdominal pain (2 vs 0), kidney and liver microaneurisms (2 vs 0), increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein (7 vs 0; p < 0.01), renal insufficiency (5 vs 0; p = 0.04), HCV genotype 1b (3 vs 6; p = 0.06), and lower activity of chronic hepatitis (p = 0.02). Neuromuscular biopsies showed lesions of vasculitis in all patients, but the type of vasculitis was different in Group 1 compared to Group 2: medium size artery involvement (7 vs 0; p < 0.01), necrotizing vasculitis (10 vs 0; p < 0.01), and mononuclear cell infiltrate in perivascular areas (0 vs 7; p < 0.01). Using prednisone, plasma exchanges, and interferon-alpha, complete recovery was obtained in all PAN-type patients except one. In Group 2 patients, interferon-alpha did not have any effect on the peripheral neuropathy.


HCV infection may be associated with different types of systemic vasculitis, i.e., polyarteritis nodosa or mixed cryoglobulinemia. Because of differences in clinical and pathological features and therapeutic strategy, PAN-type vasculitis should be distinguished from MC-type vasculitis in HCV patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk