Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis Associated with HCV Antibodies

The aetiopathogenesis of leucocytoclastic vasculitis is still unknown, but recently hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been suggested as trigger of autoimmunity. We report a case of a 26-yr-old patient with purpura due to leucocytoclastic vasculitis associated with hepatitis C virus infection. Laboratory findings showed AST, ALT: gamma GT within normal limits, positive antibodies to HCV (IIF and Riba II) and polymerase chain reaction for HCV RNA. Anti-nuclear antibodies, IgG and IgM anti-cardiolipin antibodies, anti-platelet antibodies and anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies with perinuclear pattern were also present. A skin biopsy specimen of a purpuric lesion showed leucocytoclastic vasculitis with small vessel thrombosis and perivascular deposition of IgM and fibrinogen on immunofluorescence study. This case shows a role of HCV in leucocytoclastic vasculitis; it is possible that this HCV can induce autoimmunity independently of cryoglobulins and liver involvement.

Author: MANNA R, POLICLIN A GEMELLI, IST CLIN MED, L A GEMELLI 8, I-00168 ROME, ITALY Source: BRITISH JOURNAL OF RHEUMATOLOGY 1997 JAN;36(1):124-125

 

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