Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected patients are known to be at risk of developing liver complications i.e. cirrhosis and liver cancer. However, the risks of morbidity and mortality are underestimated because they do not take into account non-liver consequences of chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Numerous extrahepatic manifestations have been reported in up to 74% of patients, from perceived to disabling conditions. The majority of data concern hepatitis C virus-related autoimmune and/or lymphoproliferative disorders, from mixed cryoglobulinaemia vasculitis to frank lymphomas. More recently, other hepatitis C virus-associated disorders have been reported including cardiovascular, renal, metabolic, and central nervous system diseases. This review aims to outline most of the extrahepatic manifestations that are currently being investigated, including some of autoimmune and/or lymphoproliferative nature, and others in which the role of immune mechanisms appears less clear. Beyond the liver, hepatitis C virus chronic infection should be analyzed as a multifaceted systemic disease leading to heavy direct and indirect costs. The accurate consideration of extrahepatic consequences of such a systemic infection significantly increases the weight of its pathological burden. The need for effective viral eradication measures is underlined.
Keywords: Extra hepatic manifestations; HCV; Treatment.
Copyright © 2014 Editrice Gastroenterologica Italiana S.r.l. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.