The relationship between lichen planus and hepatitis C in dermatology outpatients in Kerman, Iran

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BackgroundLichen planus (LP) is classified as a papulosquamous disease. It has been associated with liver disease, particularly hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, in several studies. Most of these reports, especially the larger series, were conducted in Europe and Japan.ObjectiveWe conducted a case–control study in Kerman, Iran to explore the association between LP and HCV.MethodsThe study included 66 patients with LP (as cases; mean age = 39.7 ± 15.8 years; 31 female, 35 male) and 140 volunteer blood donors (as controls; mean age = 29.5 ± 8.4 years; 43 females, 97 males). An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to determine the presence of anti-HCV antibodies in all subjects in both groups. To confirm positive diagnoses, a second generation recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA II) test was performed.ResultsLichen planus lesions were most frequently located on the trunk and extremities, and the most common clinical type was generalized LP (48.5%). One of the patients with LP (1.5%) and three of the controls (2.1%) were HCV-Ab positive. No significant difference was observed in HCV-Ab positive between the two groups (OR = 0.7; 95% CI = 0.1–6.9).ConclusionThe findings indicate that an investigation for HCV infection should not necessarily be performed in all patients with LP. It is recommended that further studies should focus on larger groups in other regions of Iran to determine whether testing for HCV infection is necessary in patients with LP.

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