High prevalence of hepatitis C virus type 1b in Italian patients with Porphyria cutanea tarda

M. Sampietro, A. L. Fracanzani, N. Corbetta, M. Amato, M. Mattioli, V. Molteni, G. Fiorelli, S. Fargion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. A strong association between sporadic porphyria cutanea tarda and chronic hepatitis C virus infection was recently described in Italy, France and Spain. Aims. To explore whether hepatitis C virus genotype plays a role in porphyria cutanea tarda complicating chronic hepatitis C. Patients. Forty-seven hepatitis C virus-positive porphyria cutanea tarda patients and a control group of 45 patients of similar age with hepatitis C virus-associated chronic liver disease. Methods. Comparison of frequency of hepatitis C virus genotypes in the two groups and in relation to the age of patients, hepatic histopathology and with the presence of other factors potentially able to trigger porphyria cutanea tarda. Results. A single genotype, hepatitis C virus 1b, was found to be present in nearly 90% of porphyria cutanea tarda-associated chronic liver disease, significantly exceeding the frequency of the same genotype in the control group (p = 0.0001). The presence of hepatitis C virus 1b was not related to the age of patients or disease severity as evaluated by hepatic histopathology. Conclusions. Hepatitis C virus-associated chronic hepatitis found in the majority of Italian patients with porphyria cutanea tarda is usually sustained by hepatitis C virus genotype 1b. This viral strain might have a direct pathogenic role in inducing porphyria cutanea tarda or could increase the susceptibility of patients to other triggering factors such as iron overload or alcohol abuse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-547
Number of pages5
JournalItalian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Hepatitis C
  • Hepatitis C virus genotypes
  • Porphyria cutanea tarda

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'High prevalence of hepatitis C virus type 1b in Italian patients with Porphyria cutanea tarda'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this