Systemic Autoimmune Diseases in Patients with Hepatitis C Virus Infection: Characterization of 1020 Cases (The HISPAMEC Registry)
ABSTRACT To describe the clinical and immunologic characteristics of a large series of patients with systemic autoimmune diseases (SAD) associated with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
The HISPAMEC Registry is a multicenter international study group dedicated to collecting data on patients diagnosed with SAD with serological evidence of chronic HCV infection. The information sources are cases reported by physicians of the HISPAMEC Study Group and periodic surveillance of reported cases by a Medline search updated up to December 31, 2007.
One thousand twenty HCV patients with SAD were included in the registry. Patients were reported from Southern Europe (60%), North America (15%), Asia (14%), Northern Europe (9%), South America (1%), and Australia (1%). Countries reporting the most cases were Spain (236 cases), France (222 cases), Italy (144 cases), USA (120 cases), and Japan (95 cases). The most frequently reported SAD were Sjögren's syndrome (SS; 483 cases), rheumatoid arthritis (RA; 150 cases), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE; 129 cases), polyarteritis nodosa (78 cases), antiphospholipid syndrome (59 cases), inflammatory myopathies (39 cases), and sarcoidosis (28 cases). Twenty patients had 2 or more SAD. Epidemiological data were available in 677 cases. Four hundred eighty-seven (72%) patients were female and 186 (28%) male, with a mean age of 49.5 +/- 1.0 years at SAD diagnosis and 50.5 +/- 1.1 years at diagnosis of HCV infection. The main immunologic features were antinuclear antibody (ANA) in 61% of patients, rheumatoid factor (RF) in 57%, hypocomplementemia in 52%, and cryoglobulins in 52%. The main differential aspect between primary and HCV-related SAD was the predominance of cryoglobulinemic-related markers (cryoglobulins, RF, hypocomplementemia) over specific SAD-related markers (anti-ENA antibodies, anti-dsDNA, anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide) in patients with HCV.
In the selected cohort, the SAD most commonly reported in association with chronic HCV infection were SS (nearly half the cases), RA and SLE. Nearly two thirds of SAD-HCV cases were reported from the Mediterranean area. In these patients, ANA, RF and cryoglobulins are the predominant immunological features.
SourceAvailable from: Guido Granata[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate if co-morbid conditions as hepatitis C virus infection and celiac disease may be associated to undifferentiated connective tissue disease. We studied retrospectively and prospectively 52 patients with diagnosis of undifferentiated connective tissue disease, subdivided, according to Vaz criteria, in systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis and Sjögren's syndrome-like subgroups. Serological markers of celiac disease as anti-gliadin, anti-endomysium and anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies were investigated. An esophagogastroduodenoscopy with duodenal biopsy and histological examination was proposed to patients with positive celiac disease serology. In addition antibodies directed to hepatitis C virus and total IgA-antibodies were investigated. Six patients (11,5%) were positive for celiac disease serological tests although two of them were asymptomatic. Four patients underwent an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, showing total or subtotal villous atrophy at duodenal biopsies. Hepatitis C virus serology was negative in all patients and none had IgA deficiency. 83% of celiac patients showed a scleroderma-like phenotype. We observed a statistically higher incidence of autoimmune symptoms in patients with gluten sensitivity. Fatigue and myalgia regressed early after the beginning of gluten-free diet. In our cohort of patients the prevalence of celiac disease was higher than that reported in the general population. We believe that all patients with diagnosis of undifferentiated connective tissue disease, especially those with a systemic sclerosis-like presentation, should be investigated for celiac disease, even in absence of gastrointestinal symptoms. Gluten-free diet should be early recommended to all patients having undifferentiated connective tissue disease and gluten sensitivity.European annals of allergy and clinical immunology 03/2015; 47(2):54-57.
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ABSTRACT: Cryoglobulins are immunoglobulins that precipitate at temperatures less than 37°C. They occur secondary to infectious, autoimmune, and malignant processes. In the Brouet classification, type I cryoglobulinemia is caused by hyperviscosity, whereas type II and III manifestations are caused by vasculitis in target organs (primarily skin, peripheral nerves, and kidney). New classification criteria were recently proposed that may help with study and treatment of cryoglobulinemic vasculitis (CryoVas). Hepatitis C virus is the most common cause of CryoVas and treatment with antivirals can be curative in mild cases, whereas rituximab is highly effective in treating active vasculitis in more severe cases.Rheumatic diseases clinics of North America 02/2015; 41(1):93-108. DOI:10.1016/j.rdc.2014.09.008 · 2.59 Impact Factor
Article: Polyarteritis Nodosa[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) is a systemic disease, but variants are cutaneous PAN and single-organ disease. Histologic confirmation of vasculitis in medium-sized arteries is desirable, and biopsies should be obtained from the symptomatic and least invasive sites. Angiography can show multiple microaneurysms in the viscera. Treatment includes high-dose corticosteroids, which are combined with immunosuppressive agents when internal organs are involved and with life-threatening disease. Once remission is achieved, maintenance agents are initiated. PAN is becoming a rare disease. International collaborative efforts are under way to establish better diagnostic and classification for all vasculitides, including PAN.Rheumatic diseases clinics of North America 02/2015; 41(1):33-46. DOI:10.1016/j.rdc.2014.09.005 · 2.59 Impact Factor