Mixed cryoglobulinemia and HCV

Authors Tassopoulos N., Papageorgiou N. Johanna.


Mixed cryoglobulinemia (MC) is a well-documented extrahepatic
manifestation of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
MC is a systemic vasculitis of small to medium-sized vessels
due to vascular deposition of circulating immune-complexes
and complement; it is characterized by the presence
in the cooled serum of one or more mono- or poly-clonal
immunoglobulins that precipitate at temperature below 37�
C and redissolve on rewarming. MC is clinically characterized
by a triad of purpura, arthralgia and asthenia and
sometimes may involve peripheral nerves, the kidneys and
the development of B-cell non-Hogkin's lymphoma. The discovery
of the relation between HCV infection and MC shows
the association between a viral infection, and an autoimmune
disease and, thus, a potential link between the systemic
autoimmune and lymphoproliferative disorders. The
eradication of HCV, by alfa-interferon, is associated with
improvement or disappearance of MC-associated clinical
Key-words: Mixed cryoglobulinemia, Hepatitis C Virus, non-
Hogkin's lymphoma, interferon alfa.