Hepatitis C virus infection of peripheral nerves in type II cryoglobulinaemia

Virchows Arch. 1999 Jun;434(6):533-5. doi: 10.1007/s004280050380.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cryoglobulinemia / complications*
  • Cryoglobulinemia / pathology
  • Female
  • Hepatitis C / complications*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • RNA, Viral