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Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2004 Jul-Aug;70(4):234-5.

Lichen planus secondary to hepatitis B vaccination.

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  • 1Department of Skin and STD, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India.


The association of lichen planus (LP) with liver diseases is now well established. Recent reports suggest that the hepatitis viruses may play a central role in this association. Lichen planus following hepatitis B vaccination is much more unusual. A 19-year-old previously healthy male developed itchy violaceous papules and plaques over the upper extremities eight to ten days after the first injection of hepatitis B vaccine. He developed similar lesions over the upper trunk, neck and lower leg after the second and third injections. A skin biopsy showed a lichenoid tissue reaction. Direct immunofluorescence (DIF) showed multiple colloid bodies and a strong continuous ragged basement membrane zone (BMZ) band with fibrinogen. HbsAg by ELISA and anti-HCV antibodies were negative. The patient was treated with oral steroids and the lesions improved. LP is a pruritic inflammatory dermatosis of unknown origin. An increased prevalence of liver disease in patient with LP has been reported. Since the first case reported by Rebora in 1990, about 15 cases of LP occurring after hepatitis B vaccination have been reported in the literature irrespective of the type of vaccine used.

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