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Year : 1998  |  Volume : 64  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 281-282

Relationship between lichen planus and hepatitis C virus

Correspondence Address:
S Narayan

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 20921796

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The present study was conducted on 75 patients of lichen planus to observe the relationship of hepatitis C virus. Only 2 cases (2.66%) were positive for the hepatitis C virus antibody, which is almost parallel to the prevalence of hepatitis C virus in the general population in India (1.5 to 2.2%)

Keywords: Lichen planus, Hepatitis C

How to cite this article:
Narayan S, Sharma R C, Sinha B K, Khanna V. Relationship between lichen planus and hepatitis C virus. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1998;64:281-2

How to cite this URL:
Narayan S, Sharma R C, Sinha B K, Khanna V. Relationship between lichen planus and hepatitis C virus. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 1998 [cited 2020 May 25];64:281-2. Available from: http://www.ijdvl.com/text.asp?1998/64/6/281/4725

  Introduction Top

Lichen planus (LP) is a benign disease characterized histologically by a dense subepidermal lymphocytic infiltrate and a distinct clinical entity differentiating it from other dermatoses. It affects mostly middle aged adults and involves skin, hair, nails and mucous membrane. The exact etiology is unknown but current concepts on the pathogenesis includes genetic, immunological or infective factors.[1] An increased prevalence of chronic liver disease has been reported in patients with LP.[2] Divano et al[3] reported anti hepatitis C virus antibody in 50% of patients with LP having chronic liver damage and they thought that virus might be responsible for initiating this type of autoimmune condition. In view of this observation anti HCV antibody was studied.

  Materials and Methods Top

In the current study 75 patients with histological confirmation of LP were investigated for anti-HCV antibodies by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test and liver function tests. Thirty age and sex matched healthy controls were also investigated.

  Results Top

Only 2 cases (2.66%) out of 75 patients with lichen planus, histologically confirmed showed positivity for hepatitis C virus antibody by ELISA test. Out of 2 cases one was of classical type LP and other follicular type of LP. Both the cases were males in the age group of 4th and 5th decade respectively. Liver function test of the positive lichen planus (classical type) cases showed mildly raised SGOT level while the other did not show any abnormality. None of the age and sex matched healthy controls showed positive ELISA for HCV or any abnormality of liver function tests.

  Discussion Top

Several studies have described a high prevalence of hepatitis c virus infection in patients with LP.[4-6] Majority of these reports are from Western countries and no such data is available from India. Association HCV antibody in lichen planus was reported to vary from one geographical to another[4][5] ranging from 4% to 38% [Table - 1]. In the present study the association of hepatitis C virus with LP was observed in 2.66% of cases. The association was observed in males in the 4th to 8th decade as compared to 7th and 8th decade and women were twice as often affected as men as reported by Perez et al[4] and equal in both male and female as reported by Tanei et al.[6] This difference in presentation could be explained on the basis of regional variation.

Perez et al[4] and Imhof et al[5] reported 16 of the 78 (20%) patients and 13 of the 84 (16%) patients had anti HCV antibodies respectively which is statistically significant. Imhof et al[5] also reported 12/13 anti HCV positive patients were viraemic as assessed by presence of HCV RNA i.e. high prevalence of HCV RNA in patients with LP thus suggested an etiological role of HCV in pathogenesis of L.P.

In our study only one case of hepatitis C virus related classical LP showed mild raised SGOT level. Elevated transaminase levels in hepatitis C virus related LP were observed in most of the patients by Tanie et al.[6]

Although cases of LP associated HCV infection has been described, the association between the two diseases had not been established because the geographical origin of patients could be an important factor in HCV prevalence in patients with LP. In India the prevalence of HCV in general population is reported to be 1.5% to 2.2%.[7][8] Association of HCV with LP in 2.66% cases in our present study is almost parallel to the prevalence of HCV[11].

  References Top

1.Boyd A, Neldner K. Lichen planus. J Am Acad Dermatol 1991;25:93-619.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Dandolfo S, Carbone M, Carrozzo M, et al. Lichen planus and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Oral Pathol Med 1994;23:119:1-22.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Divano MC, Parodi A, Rebora A. Lichen planus, liver-kidney micro-somal (LKM) antibodies and hepatitis C virus antibodies. Dermatology 1992;183:131-133.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Sanchez-Perez J, De-Castro M, Buezo GF, et al. Lichen planus hepatitis C virus; Prevalence and clinical presentation of patients with LP and HCV infection. Br J Dermatol 1996;134:715-719.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Imhof M, Popai H, Lee JH, et al. Prevalence of hepatitis C virus, antibodies and evaluation of HCV genotypes in patients with LP. Dermatology 1997;195:1-5.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Tanei R, Watanabe K, Nishiyama S. Clinical and histopathologic analysis of the relationship between lichen planus and chronic hepatitis C. J Dermatol 1995;22:316-323.  Back to cited text no. 6  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
7.Narang A, Kar P. Prevalence of hepatitis C virus in acute and chronic liver diseases, blood donors and recipients. ICMR Bulletin 1994;24:109.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Irshad M, Acharya SK, Joshie YK. Prevalence of hepatitis C virus antibodies in the general population and in selected groups of patients in Delhi. Indian J Med Res 1995;102:162-164.  Back to cited text no. 8    
9.Cribier B, Gamier C, Ikaustrait D, et al. Lichen planus and hepatitis C virus infection. An epidemiologic study. J Am Acad Dermatol 994;110:1328-1329.  Back to cited text no. 9    
10.Rebora A. Hepatitis viruses and lichen planus. Arch Dermatol 1994;110:1328-1329.  Back to cited text no. 10    
11.Bellman B, Reddy R, Flanga V. Generalized lichen planus associated with hepatitis C virus immunoreactivity. J Am Acad Dermatol 1993;35:770-772.  Back to cited text no. 11    


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