Oral lichen planus and HCV

DEVELOPMENT AND EXACERBATION OF ORAL LICHEN PLANUS DURING AND AFTER INTERFERON THERAPY FOR HEPATITIS C

Oral lichen planus (OLP) is frequently seen in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. To clarify the role of HCV in OLP pathogenesis, we investigated the occurrence and progression of oral lesions in chronic hepatitis C patients treated with interferon. Oral surgeons examined 24 hepatitis C patients (15 men, nine women; mean age 48.1 years) for oral lesions before, during and after interferon (IFN) treatment. OLP was observed in 16.7% (4/24). Two patients had OLP before treatment, one during and one after treatment. Those who developed OLP during or after treatment had neither improvement nor disappearance of OLP even when serum HCV RNA became negative. Leucoplakia was seen in four patients before treatment and oral cancer in one patient 6 months after completing treatment. OLP can occur, exacerbate and persist during IFN treatment for hepatitis C, even when serum HCV RNA becomes negative. The present study suggested that OLP pathogenesis in hepatitis C is due to host factors induced by HCV infection rather than direct HCV participation. Treating physicians should be aware of OLP occurrence or exacerbation by IFN treatment with hepatitis C patients, but IFN therapy is not necessarily contraindicated in these patients.

Author: NAGAO Y, KURUME UNIV, SCH MED, DEPT ORAL SURG, 67 ASAHI MACHI, KURUME FUKUOKA 830
Source: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION 1996 DEC;26(12):1171-1174

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