Circulating immune complexes in chronic hepatitis related to hepatitis C and B viruses infection

Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1995 Apr;75(1):39-44. doi: 10.1006/clin.1995.1050.


Circulating immune complexes (CIC) may be involved in tissue damage and/or viral clearance in viral hepatitis. To assess the frequency of raised CIC in chronic hepatitis related to hepatitis B and C, IgM, IgG, and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) containing CIC were determined, by conglutinin (K) and C1q assays, in 101 patients with chronic hepatitis B alone, 24 patients with chronic hepatitis B and C, 48 patients with chronic hepatitis C alone, and 54 healthy controls. Compared to patients with hepatitis B alone, patients with dual infection had higher frequency of raised IgM-C1q CIC (P < 0.001) and IgM-K CIC (P < 0.01). There is no difference in the prevalence of HBsAg-CIC between patients with hepatitis B alone and those with dual infection. Among patients with chronic hepatitis C alone, conglutinin-binding CIC is the predominant type of raised CIC and correlated with more severe liver damage. In conclusion, CIC may play a role in the pathogenesis of chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex / analysis*
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex / physiology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Complement C3 / analysis
  • Epitopes
  • Female
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepacivirus / immunology
  • Hepatitis / immunology*
  • Hepatitis / pathology
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / blood
  • Hepatitis B / immunology*
  • Hepatitis B / pathology
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens / immunology
  • Hepatitis C / immunology*
  • Hepatitis C / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA, Viral / analysis


  • Antigen-Antibody Complex
  • Complement C3
  • Epitopes
  • Hepatitis Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • RNA, Viral