Bronchial Asthma - Another Extrahepatic Manifestation

Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection may be associated with a variety of diseases, such as mixed cryoglobulinemia, porphyria cutanea tarda, membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, Sjogren's syndrome and so on. These associations may be attributed to abnormal immune response elicited in chronic HCV infection. Because of the fact that bronchial asthma, another disease in which abnormal immune response to a variety of antigens has been demonstrated, has been frequently encountered in our patients' personal history, we aimed to determine the exact prevalence of bronchial asthma in patients with chronic HCV infection. To make a comparison, asthma prevalence in chronic HBV infection was also studied. Bronchial asthma was sought in pts with a history of intermittent dyspnea and diagnosed by the classic manifestations and observations.

Results:
Since July 1995, a total of 597 pts with chronic HBV or HCV infection or both were followed up in our Hepatology Clinic.


       n         M/F           Asthma (%)*

B        422       282/140        2 (0.7)

C        158       61/97          17 (11.3) 

B+C      17        8/9            1 (5.9) *

:p less than 0.001


In the ongoing study we are determining the prevalence of HCV infection in pts with asthma and the response to interferon therapy.

Conclusions:
Bronchial asthma in which abnormal immune response to a variety of antigens is elicited is associated with chronic HCV infection.

G. Ersoz, US Akarca, O. Topalak, F Gunsar, Z Karasu, A Saymer, Y. Batur. Ege U. Med. School, Dept. of Gastroenterology, Izmir, Turkey.
Source: American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases - 1996 Annual Meeting

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