Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hepatitis C Virus Affects Many Organs And Tissues, Not Just Liver

Date:
January 18, 2008
Source:
World Journal of Gastroenterology
Summary:
Hepatitis C virus is a major health problem worldwide, and more than 3 percent of the world's population is infected with HCV. Despite popular belief, HCV is not only a liver disease, but affects many organs, tissues, and systems.

In 1994, the team of Tchernev and Petrova from Alexandrovska Hospital in Sofia examined a female patient with liver cirrhosis caused by chronic Hepatitis C virus (HCV). They were intrigued by the patient's many extra-hepatic manifestations -- vascular lesions on the lower limbs, acute pain in the joints, intense tingling of the fingers, and extreme labor-impairing fatigue. They were also intrigued by the presence of cryoglobulins in the patient's blood. Two years later, the patient developed enlarged lymph nodes on the neck. When one of the nodes was histologically tested, the patient was found to have lymphoma.

Related Articles


This case spurred the interest of the investigators in the extra-hepatic manifestations and complications of HCV infection, and for over a decade they studied the links between HCV infection, cryoglobulinemia, and lymphoma.

Hepatitis C virus is a major health problem worldwide, and more than 3 percent of the world's population is infected with HCV. Despite popular belief, HCV is not only a liver disease, but affects many organs, tissues, and systems.

In a new study of 136 Bulgarian patients with HCV, the team of Tchernev and Petrova found 76.5% of the patients had extra-hepatic manifestations. Common manifestations were fatigue (59.6%), renal impairment (25%), type 2 diabetes (22.8%), paresthesia (19.9%), arthralgia (18.4%), and purpura predominantly of the lower limbs (17.6%). Over 37% of the patients had cryoglobulins, and 8.8% had B-cell lymphoma.

The study found positive links between the presence of extra-hepatic manifestations and age, female gender, duration of the infection, infection by transfusion of blood and blood products, and extensive liver fibrosis. Therefore, elderly women with chronic HCV and advanced liver fibrosis, who were infected by transfusion during childbirth, are at the highest risk of developing extra-hepatic manifestations of HCV infection.

The study also showed most extra-hepatic manifestations of HCV infection are associated with the presence of cryoglobulins. In particular, the risks of developing B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma are much higher in cryoglobulin-positive than in cryoglobulin-negative patients. In the study, 17.6% of cryoglobulin-positive patients had lymphoma, whereas only 3.5% of cryoglobulin-negative patients did.

Given the prevalence of HCV around the world, it is important for physicians to recognize the extra-hepatic signs and symptoms of HCV infection. Patients who exhibit such manifestations should be tested for HCV infection. This can lead to prompt diagnosis and effective treatment of the infection before the development of cryoglobulinemia, when treatment gives poor results or is ineffective.

Journal reference: Stefanova-Petrova DV, Tzvetanska AH, Naumova EJ, Mihailova AP, Hadjiev EA, Dikova RP, Vukov MI, Tchernev KG. Chronic hepatitis C virus infection: Prevalence of extrahepatic manifestations and association with cryoglobulinemia in Bulgarian patients. World J Gastroenterol 2007; 13(48): 6518-6528 http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/13/6518.asp


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by World Journal of Gastroenterology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

World Journal of Gastroenterology. "Hepatitis C Virus Affects Many Organs And Tissues, Not Just Liver." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080116092448.htm>.
World Journal of Gastroenterology. (2008, January 18). Hepatitis C Virus Affects Many Organs And Tissues, Not Just Liver. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080116092448.htm
World Journal of Gastroenterology. "Hepatitis C Virus Affects Many Organs And Tissues, Not Just Liver." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080116092448.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins