Organ-Specific Autoimmunity in HCV-Positive Patients

  • Corrado Betterle
  • Fabio Presotto


Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection predisposes patients to the onset of diseases involving other organ systems. Indeed, more than 50% of patients with HCV infection develop at least one autoimmune extrahepatic manifestation. These manifestations may be triggered by virus-induced autoimmunity with autoantibody production, autoreactive T cells, and intricate autoimmune reactions that lead to organ-specific or non-organ-specific autoimmune diseases involving the kidneys, skin, eyes, joints, nervous system, etc. Some extrahepatic manifestations of hepatitis C are relatively common (e.g., cryoglobulinemia), while others, such as autoimmune thyroid diseases or type 1 diabetes mellitus, are uncommon and their association with HCV has yet to be fully elucidated. In this chapter, we consider the main organ-specific autoimmune disorders directly related to HCV infection or indirectly induced by treatment for HCV infection, and interferons in particular.


Celiac Disease Autoimmune Thyroid Disease Mixed Cryoglobulinemia Thyroid Autoantibody Chronic Thyroiditis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Unit of Endocrinology, Department of Medical and Surgical SciencesUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Medical and Surgical SciencesMedical University of PaduaPaduaItaly
  3. 3.Unit of Internal MedicineGeneral Hospital of Este (Padua)PaduaItaly

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