Treatment of HCV-Related Mixed Cryoglobulinemia

Author(s): Dilia Giuggioli, Marco Sebastiani, Michele Colaci, Poupak Fallahi, Laura Gragnani, Anna Linda Zignego, Alessandro Antonelli, Clodoveo Ferri*.

Journal Name: Current Drug Targets

Volume 18 , Issue 7 , 2017

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Abstract:

Mixed cryoglobulinemia syndrome (MCs) is a systemic vasculitis, involving skin, joints, peripheral nerves, and several internal organs. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is recognized as the etiologic agent for the majority of MCs patients, as well as of number of autoimmune, lymphoproliferative, and neoplastic disorders. In this context, HCV-related MCs represents an important model autoimmune/ neoplastic disease triggered by a virus in humans. With regard the therapeutic strategies of MCs, we can treat these patients at different steps by means of etiological (antivirals), pathogenetic, symptomatic drugs (mainly immunosuppressors, corticosteroids, plasmapheresis). In the majority of individuals, MCs shows a mild, slow-progressive clinical course needing only symptomatic treatments, generally low doses of corticosteroids. Considering the etiopathogenesis of MCs, the eradication of HCV should be considered the gold standard in the treatment of MCs. The use of combined peg-interferon- α/ribavirin and/or novel antiviral drugs may lead to HCV eradication in a significant percentage of cases with possible remission of MCs. On the other hand, the presence of rapidly progressive, diffuse vasculitis with multiple organ involvement may be successfully treated with aggressive immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory therapies, mainly based on cyclophosphamide or rituximab, high dose corticosteroids, and plasma aphaeresis. Moreover, sequential/combined antiviral or immunosuppressive treatments could represent an useful therapeutic strategy particularly in MCs patients with major clinical manifestations.

The treatment of MCs should be decided for every patient according to the severity of clinical picture. Thus, a careful follow-up of the disease is necessary, with particular attention to the possibility of cancers onset, such as B-cell lymphoma. The present review focuses on the different therapeutic strategies in patients with MCs, including the treatment of cryoglobulinemic skin ulcers, which represents one of the most discouraging complications of the disease.

Keywords: Hepatitis C virus, mixed cryoglobulinemia, cryoglobulinemic vasculitis, lymphoma, skin ulcers, rituximab.

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Article Details

VOLUME: 18
ISSUE: 7
Year: 2017
Page: [794 - 802]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/1389450116666150825112105
Price: $58

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