Source Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Jabriya, Kuwait. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND/AIMS: It is well recognized that chronic hepatitis C infection causes liver disease ranging from mild chronic hepatitis to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatitis C virus is also associated with extrahepatic manifestations that may be the first clinical presentation of infection. Cutaneous disease can constitute a significant part of the wide spectrum of extrahepatic abnormalities associated with Hepatitis C infection. The aim of the present study was to estimate the extra burden of dermatological manifestations as a result of Hepatitis C virus infection in Kuwait.
METHODOLOGY: A total of 75 positive antibody patients to hepatitis C virus were enrolled in the study and compared to an age and gender-matched control group which comprised 75 healthy individuals with negative antibody to hepatitis C virus results.
RESULTS: Generalized pruritus was significantly increased (22.67%) in chronic Hepatitis C infected patients compared to controls (5.33%), (p<0.01). No statistical differences were found in other skin findings for HCV positive and negative patients.
CONCLUSION: Cutaneous manifestations may be the first clinical sign of chronic Hepatitis C infection. Screening for Hepatitis C infection in certain dermatologicalal conditions may help in early detection of Hepatitis C infection which may help prevent further transmission of Hepatitis C virus.