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January 1994

Lichen Planus and Hepatitis C Virus— Related Chronic Active Hepatitis

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology (Drs Jubert, Pouget, Revuz, and Bagot), Bacteriology and Virology (Drs Pawlotsky, DeForges, Bretagne, and Duval), Immunology (Dr Andre), and Hepatology (Drs Mavier and Dhumeaux), University of Paris XII, Créteil, France.

Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(1):73-76. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690010077011

Background and Design:  An increased prevalence of chronic liver disease has been reported in patients with lichen planus (LP). We report six cases of LP associated with chronic active hepatitis and actively replicating hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Results:  We studied six patients (three men and three women; mean age, 61 years; age range, 47 to 70 years) with various forms (cutaneous and/or mucosal) of LP and abnormal liver test results. Four patients had severe mucosal lesions. Cutaneous and mucosal lesions had a long-term evolution. Liver disease was discovered 2 to 6 years before LP in three cases and was diagnosed at the same time as LP in the three other cases. Liver biopsy performed in five patients showed chronic active hepatitis without cirrhosis in all five cases. Anti—HCV antibodies were detected in all cases by second-generation enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and confirmed by second-generation recombinant immunoblot assay. Hepatitis C virus RNA was evidenced by means of polymerase chain reaction in the serum samples from the six patients, proving active viral replication.

Conclusions:  Lichen planus may be associated with HCV-related chronic active hepatitis. As interferon treatment may induce viral inactivation in some patients with HCV-related chronic liver disease, a search for HCV infection should be systematically performed in patients with chronic LP.(Arch Dermatol. 1994;130:73-76)

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