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October 1994

Hepatitis Viruses and Lichen Planus

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology University of Genoa Genoa 16132, Italy

Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(10):1328-1329. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690100118024

An association between viral infection and lichen planus (LP) was postulated long ago, but only recently has evidence been presented that incriminated the hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) viruses.

The importance of HBV has been documented by the Italian Group for Epidemiologic Studies in Derma- tology.1 In a study of 577 newly diagnosed LP patients and 1008 control subjects, HBsAg-positive patients of any age and sex had at least double the risk of developing LP compared with HBsAg-negative patients.1 Anecdotal reports of anti-HBV antibodies in LP patients, of LP eruption following HBV vaccination, and of the association of LP with hepatocarcinoma, an HBV/HCV-linked cancer, are additional evidence for such an association.2 In a series of 87 LP patients, 27 (31%) were found to be anti— HBV-positive.2

Infection with HCV has been investigated more recently.3 In a series of 79 LP patients,4 21 (26%) were

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