Diagnosis and treatment of HCV heart diseases

Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2021 Jun;19(6):493-499. doi: 10.1080/14779072.2021.1917383. Epub 2021 Jun 2.


Introduction: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is an important cause of a variety of otherwise unexplained heart diseases and myocardial injury. A high prevalence of HCV infection has been noted in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy, arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy and myocarditis. Various arrhythmias, conduction disturbances and QT prolongation were also associated with HCV infection. A possible role of HCV infection in the pathogenesis of diabetes and atherosclerosis, and the role of immunogenetics of HCV cardiomyopathies is discussed. Recent studies suggest that mononuclear cells may be the major target of HCV, and clinical applications to test this new hypothesis are discussed.

Areas covered: In this review, we will evaluate the evidence that HCV causes various cardiovascular diseases, and discuss on the pathogenesis of these disorders.

Expert opinion: HCV is the cause of many different forms of heart disease worldwide, but their existence has not been recognized by most of cardiologists. The recognition and diagnosis are indispensable for the early treatment of these diseases. The diverse clinical manifestation of HCV infection and the presence of multiple extrahepatic disease syndromes could be explained by a new hypothesis that the target of HCV is leukocytes.

Keywords: Arrhythmias; atherosclerosis; cardiomyopathy; hepatitis C virus; immunity; inflammation; leukocytes; myocarditis; pericarditis; therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / diagnosis
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / etiology
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / therapy
  • Atherosclerosis / diagnosis
  • Atherosclerosis / etiology
  • Atherosclerosis / therapy
  • Cardiomyopathies / diagnosis
  • Cardiomyopathies / etiology
  • Cardiomyopathies / therapy
  • Heart Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Heart Diseases / etiology
  • Heart Diseases / therapy
  • Hepacivirus
  • Hepatitis C / complications*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Myocarditis / diagnosis
  • Myocarditis / etiology
  • Myocarditis / therapy
  • Pericarditis / diagnosis
  • Pericarditis / etiology
  • Pericarditis / therapy