The Significance of Articular Hand Manifestations in Chronic HCV Patients

Hassan M Bassiony, Mostafa A El Dahan, khaled A Zaky, Ahmed A Abd El Aziz, Kamal A El-Atrebi, Ahmed M A Saad, Hala T El-Bassyouni


Aim: To evaluate the significance of rheumatic hand manifestations in chronic HCV patients. Methods: Two hundred and ninety seven HCV patients were subjected to history taking, clinical examination, laboratory investigations including erythrocytic sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), rheumatoid factor (RF), antinuclear antibody (ANA) and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (Anti-CCP) and plain X- ray for hands and wrists. Results: The range of patients’ age was 18-82 years (43.97±13.56). Their disease duration ranged from 6 months to 25 years (7.3+5.6). Hand affection was present in 137 patients (46.1%). The most frequent hand manifestations were arthralgia (28.6%), tenosynovitis (10.1%), Raynaud’s phenomenon (9.1%), and arthritis (5.1%), while laboratory abnormalities were RF in (38.4%), ANA in (6.4%), cryoglobulins in (9.4%) and Anti-CCP in (1.3%). Female gender was the most important risk factors for hand manifestations. The patterns of arthritis in chronic HCV patients were non deforming polyarticular arthritis that affected the small joints of the hands and oligoarthritis. Conclusion: Our study strongly supports a direct role of HCV in inducing rheumatic hand manifestations and autoantibodies in chronic HCV patients, but it is mostly non-deforming and non-significant. Surveillance is needed for the detection of rheumatic manifestations and autoantibodies with occasional multidisciplinary team (hepatologist and rheumatologist) approach to HCV patients for early diagnosis and treatment. A long term follow up study for rheumatological manifestations in HCV patients is recommended to reduce health disparities.


HCV; Rheumatoid factor; CRP; ANA; Arthritis

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