HCV Infection of Nerves in Cryoglobulinemia

TITLE: Hepatitis C virus infection of peripheral nerves in type II cryoglobulinaemia.

Peripheral neuropathy is a frequent complication in patients suffering from type II mixed cryoglobulinaemia (mCGII), a sort of vasculitis that is strongly associated with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and characterised by high concentrations of anti-HCV antibodies and HCV RNA in the cryoprecipitates. We report the finding of HCV RNA in homogenates of nerve biopsies from five such patients, by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) amplification of different regions of the viral genome. HCV RNA was localized in epineurial cells by in situ RT-PCR. Our data suggest that HCV infection of nerves plays a major role in mCGII-associated neuropathy.

AUTHOR: Bonetti B, Scardoni M, Monaco S, Rizzuto N, Scarpa A Dipartimento di Scienze Neurologiche e della Visione, Universita di Verona, Italy.
SOURCE: Virchows Arch 1999 Jun;434(6):533-5

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