Treatment with etanercept in six patients with chronic hepatitis C infection and systemic autoimmune diseases

I. Cavazzana, A. Ceribelli, R. Cattaneo, F. Franceschini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To describe the clinical and immunologic features of 6 patients with rheumatic disease and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) chronic infection, treated with anti-TNF alpha drugs. Patients and methods: Six patients, with repeated positive serology for HCV infection, were affected by Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (4 cases), Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) and Polymyositis in one case each. They started anti-TNFalpha treatment (Etanercept), due to a previous failure of combination of different immunosuppressants (Methotrexate, Sulfasalazine, Cyclosporine, Hydroxychloroquine). Results: Patients (3 female and 3 males) showed a mean age at disease onset of 50.6 years (SD 14.5) and a mean disease duration of 12.5 years (SD: 8.8). Etanercept (dosage of 50 mg weekly) was continued for a median period of 14 months. Patients affected by RA and PsA achieved a good clinical response, with a significant reduction of DAS28 during treatment (p: 0.0001). No patient received any specific therapy for HCV infection. Elevated HCV-RNA titres were recorded in 5 cases at start of Etanercept. No significant increase was observed during anti-TNF alpha treatment. No cases of hepatic failure were recorded. Conclusion: Anti-TNF alpha therapy showed to be effective, safe and well tolerated in the setting of HCV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-106
Number of pages3
JournalAutoimmunity Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • Anti-TNF alpha
  • Etanercept
  • HCV infection
  • Polymyositis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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