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Eur J Pediatr. 1996 Jul;155(7):532-4.

Rapidly progressive hepatitis C in a patient with common variable immunodeficiency.

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Department of Paediatrics, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


A 15-year-old girl with common variable immunodeficiency contracted hepatitis C, which progressed to liver cirrhosis and finally to hepatic failure 5 years later. Since she was agammaglobulinaemic, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection was diagnosed on the basis of HCV-RNA detection. Quantification of her sera showed high levels of HCV-RNA (more than 10(7) copies of RNA/mL), which implied active viral replication. There were no other hepatotoxic factors except HCV infection. The initial liver biopsy at 16 years of age and the autopsy confirmed a rapid progression in liver histopathological change over 4 years.


Contrary to the widely held view of a benign short-term prognosis in paediatric hepatitis C, progressive fatal liver disease can develop in some patients with HCV infection. Such a rapid progression of liver injury provides the rationale for antiviral therapy in at least certain high risk groups of these children. Hepatitis C may progress rapidly in an immune deficiency condition.

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