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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2004 Sep-Oct;22(5):625-8.

Systemic sclerosis developing in association with the use of interferon alpha therapy for chronic viral hepatitis.

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Autoimmune Diseases Division, Internal Medicine Department, Vall d'Hebrón University General Hospital, Barcelona, Spain.


In 1992 interferon alpha (IFNalpha) was approved by the FDA for the treatment of chronic viral hepatitis B and C. Since then IFNalpha has been implicated in the development of several autoantibodies as well as in the development or exacerbation of various autoimmune disorders. Herein, we describe a 47-year-old female who developed a limited form of systemic sclerosis (SSc) with lung involvement 6 months after the institution of IFNalpha therapy for chronic active hepatitis C. There was no family or personal history of autoimmune diseases. We speculate that the immunomodulatory effects of IFNalpha triggered the clinical manifestations of SSc in this patient. To our knowledge, this is the second case of SSc developing after therapy with IFNalpha and the first in a patient treated for chronic viral hepatitis C.

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