Psoriasis and hepatitis C virus
We have analyzed 8 patients (6 men and 2 women, aged 52 to 70 years) with psoriasis associated with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among 79 psoriatic patients. Psoriasis preceded in 6 cases. One patient had generalized pustular psoriasis (GPP), and the others had psoriasis vulgaris (PV). The psoriasis area and severity index (PASI) score ranged from 2.7 to 32.4. Two of the patients were treated with interferon-gamma. Anti-HCV antibodies were detected in all cases by second generation enzyme-linked immunosorbent and recombinant immunoblot assay. HCV messenger RNA was demonstrated by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction in the tissue sections of the lesions of 1 of the patients with PV and the patient with GPP, providing evidence for active viral replication in the skin lesion. HCV-related chronic active hepatitis might cause several immunological abnormalities. It is suggested that this infection might be one of the triggering factors of psoriasis.