Hepatitis C virus infection in Thai patients with oral lichen planus

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OBJECTIVEMany studies focusing on the association between hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and oral lichen planus (OLP) have been conducted. Diversities of geographical locations could be a major factor influencing the prevalence of HCV. This study was aimed to define whether there was a relationship between the OLP and HCV infection in Thailand.MATERIALS AND METHODSSerum samples of 60 patients (with OLP) and 60 controls (without OLP), whose age and gender were matched, were respectively screened for anti-HCV by ELISA (third generation), and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for HCV-RNA.RESULTSWe found five patients (8.33%) with OLP infected with HCV: three patients were positive for both anti-HCV and HCV-RNA; one patient was only positive for anti- HCV; and one patient was only positive for HCV-RNA; whereas all the controls were negative for both anti-HCV and HCV-RNA (P = 0.029). Three of five cases of OLP with HCV infection had histories of blood transfusions over 10 years ago.CONCLUSIONThe present study reports a small, but statistically significant high prevalence of HCV infection among patients with OLP, although the underlying mechanism still remains unknown.

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