The authors report a case of cutaneous vasculitis in a 59-year-old schizophrenic male. Clinical manifestations were characterized by recurrent bouts of purpuric macules and papules on both legs, extending to the thighs. Histologic examination showed a leukocytoclastic vasculitis. Biochemical investigations showed cryoglobulinemia and anti hepatitis C virus antibodies in his serum. Hepatitis C virus RNA was found by PCR. No therapy was given. Clinical manifestations regressed but the patient experienced recurrences triggered by standing. Epidemiologic and molecular investigations suggest a cause-effect relationship between hepatitis C virus and mixed cryoglobulinemia, which, in turn, can cause a cutaneous or systemic vasculitis by the deposition of immune complexes in post-capillary venules. In HCV-patients mixed cryoglobulinemia shows rheumatoid factor activity. For these reasons, in these patients rheumatoid factor is considered a useful, sensitive marker for mixed cryoglobulinemia when these serum immunoglobulins are not detectable. Cutaneous vasculitis is a skin disease possibly correlated to hepatitis C virus infection. Because it can be a presenting feature of HCV infection, the search for cryoglobulin and anti hepatitis C virus antibodies has to be performed in every case of cutaneous vasculitis.
|Translated title of the contribution||Cryoglobulinemic leukocytoclastic vasculitis and hepatitis C virus infection|
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia|
|Publication status||Published - 1997|
ASJC Scopus subject areas