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J Hepatol. 1996 Feb;24(2):135-40.

Thrombocytopenia associated with hepatitis C viral infection.

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  • 1First Department of Internal Medicine, Gunma University School of Medicine, Maebashi, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS:

We investigated whether chronic hepatitis C infection is associated with thrombocytopenia.

METHODS/RESULTS:

Thrombocytopenia (<15 x 10(4) platelets/mu l) was diagnosed in 151 of 368 patients (41.0%) with chronic hepatitis C, a significantly higher proportion than that observed in patients with chronic hepatitis B (18.9%, p < 0.01). Elevated titers of platelet-associated immunoglobulin G were observed in 88.1% of patients with chronic hepatitis C and in 47.1% of patients with chronic hepatitis B. Platelet-associated immunoglobulin G titers were significantly higher in patients with chronic hepatitis C (87.3 +/- 10.1 ng/10(7) cells) vs. those with chronic hepatitis B (30.3 +/- 6.4) or the control subjects (p < 0.01). There was a significant negative correlation between platelet-associated immunoglobulin G titers and platelet counts in both chronic hepatitis C and B cases. Platelet-associated immunoglobulin G titers were significantly higher in patients with type C cirrhosis than in those with type B cirrhosis. Interestingly, HCV-RNA was detected by RT-PCR in the platelets from 11 of 14 patients with hepatitis C virus.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data indicate that chronic infection with hepatitis C virus may produce a significant autoimmune reaction to platelets, leading to thrombocytopenia.

Comment in

PMID:
8907565
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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