Department of Gastroenterology and Rheumatology, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.
Musculoskeletal complaints, dry eyes, fatigue and anxiety are common symptoms in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, but there are few controlled data evaluating this.
To assess the prevalence of rheumatological disease, fatigue and anxiety in different groups of patients with chronic HCV infection.
Patients and Methods
Seventy-seven patients with HCV were evaluated. Of these, 49 (64%) had been infected via contaminated anti-D immunoglobulin, 25 (33%) were intravenous drug users (IVDUs), and three were transfusion related; 78% were female. Twenty-five age- and sex-matched controls were also evaluated. Assessment was performed by history, physical examination, the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Score (HADS).
Four (5%) patients fulfilled the criteria for fibromyalgia. All were infected via anti-D immunoglobulin, and three were PCR positive. The mean number of tender points in anti-D patients was 5.0 (+/- 4.07) compared with 2.8 (+/- 2.7) in controls (P= 0.028) and 2.5 (+/- 2.2) in IVDUs (P 1/80).
This study reveals a moderate increase in prevalence of fibromyalgia in HCV patients. The number of tender points was related to mode of acquisition but not to PCR status. Anxiety and depression levels are also increased in HCV patients compared with controls. Prevalence of RF was higher in PCR-positive patients compared with controls and those who had cleared the virus.
Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2001 May;13(5):507-11
PMID: 11396529 [PubMed – in process]