Changes in HCV viremia following LDL apheresis in a HCV positive patient with familial hypercholesterolemia

P. Marson, R. Boschetto, G. De Silvestro, S. Martini, C. Gabelli, S. Buoro, R. Giordano, G. Palù

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It has been suggested that hepatitis C virus (HCV) can be associated with beta-lipoprotein in human serum. According to this, the LDL receptor could promote endocytosis of such a virus. In the present study, we evaluated the changes in HCV viremia in a HCV positive patient with familial hypercholesterolemia, undergoing both selective (DALI System, Fresenius) and non-selective (plasma exchange) LDL apheresis. HCV-RNA levels did not decrease following selective LDL apheresis, on the contrary showed a random, odd variation pattern (from -35% to +72%). Conversely, plasma exchange steadily induced a drop in HCV viremia (-35/43%), to a lower extent than that of a totally intravascular plasmaprotein, i.e., alpha 2-macroglobulin (-53/54%). These data indicate that beta-lipoprotein may not function as a plasma carrier of HCV, at least in the present case. Moreover, a continuous, quantitatively unforeseeable circulation of HCV virions from the intravascular plasma compartment to other extravascular and intracellular sites, seems to occur during an apheresis session.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)640-644
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1999


  • Familial hypercholesterolemia
  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV)
  • LDL apheresis
  • Plasma exchange
  • Viremia branched DNA assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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