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      HBV-Associated Cryoglobulinemic Vasculitis: Remission after Antiviral Therapy with Entecavir

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          Abstract

          Background/Aims: Cryoglobulinemic vasculitis remains an uncommon complication of hepatitis B virus infection. Methods: We report the case of a 40-years old female Chinese patient with chronic hepatitis B developing cryoglobulinemic vasculitis with multiple organ involvement (liver, kidney, and skin) coupled with weakness, arthralgias, haemolytic anaemia, and autoimmune thyroiditis. She received entecavir mono-therapy at dose adjusted for estimated glomerular filtration rate. Results: Within five months of entecavir treatment, hepatitis B viraemia decreased below the limit of detection with normal serum amino-transferase levels, HBeAg clearance occurred, vasculitis regressed with disappearance of purpura and ascites; in addition, renal function normalized and nephritic syndrome remitted. After a five-year follow-up, the patient is asymptomatic with intact kidney function, proteinuria in the normal range, and normal liver biochemistry, despite the antiviral treatment was withdrawn and the patient remained HBsAg positive. Conclusions: This is the second case of hepatitis B virus-related cryoglobulinemic vasculitis successfully treated with entecavir suggesting that effective antiviral therapy may counteract both the hepatic and extra-hepatic manifestations of infection by hepatitis B virus.

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          Most cited references 22

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          EASL Clinical Practice Guidelines: management of chronic hepatitis B.

            (2009)
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            Mixed cryoglobulinemia: demographic, clinical, and serologic features and survival in 231 patients.

            Mixed cryoglobulinemia (MC) is a systemic vasculitis secondary to circulating immune complex deposition in the small vessels. In the overwhelming majority of patients, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection represents the triggering factor of the disease. MC is characterized by multiple organ involvement, mainly skin, liver, renal, peripheral nerves, and less frequently by widespread vasculitis and cancer. To investigate the demographic, clinical, serologic features, and survival in a large series of MC patients. The study included 231 MC patients recruited between 1972 and 2001 at the Rheumatology Unit of the University of Pisa. All patients underwent wide clinicoserologic and virologic assessment. Cumulative survival rates were computed by the Kaplan-Meier method; moreover, the prognostic relevance of the main variables was investigated by Cox model analysis. In 92% of cases, the presence of HCV infection was demonstrated (anti-HCV antibody, 92%; HCV RNA, 90%), whereas hepatitis B virus (HBV) represented the possible causative agent in only 1.8% of patients (HBV DNA). Clinically, the MC syndrome followed a relatively benign clinical course in over 50% of cases, whereas a moderate-severe clinical course was observed in one third of patients whose prognosis was severely affected by renal and/or liver failure. In a limited, but significant, percentage (15%) of individuals, the disease was complicated by a malignancy, ie, B-cell lymphoma, and less frequently by hepatocellular carcinoma, or thyroid cancer. The survival study by the Kaplan-Meier method revealed a significantly lower cumulative 10th-year survival, calculated from time of diagnosis, in MC patients compared with expected death in the age- and sex-matched general population. Moreover, significantly lower survival rates were observed in males and in subjects with renal involvement. The multivariate analysis by the Cox proportional hazard regression model further supported the above findings: an increased mortality risk of 98% was observed for male gender (male/female hazard ratio, 1.978) and of 197% in patients with, compared with those without, renal involvement (hazard ratio, 2.967). At the end of the follow-up, 97 patients were deceased, and in 79 of 97 patients, the causes of death were ascertained: nephropathy (33%), malignancies (23%), liver involvement (13%), and diffuse vasculitis (13%) were the most frequent causes of death. Careful patient monitoring is recommended for a timely diagnosis of life-threatening MC complications, mainly nephropathy, widespread vasculitis, and B-cell lymphoma or other malignancies.
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              Prophylaxis and treatment of hepatitis B in immunocompromised patients.

              The literature on hepatitis B virus (HBV) in immunocompromised patients is heterogeneous and referred mainly to the pre-antivirals era. Today a rational approach to the problem of hepatitis B in these patients provides for: (a) the evaluation of HBV markers and of liver condition in all subjects starting immunosuppressive therapies (baseline), (b) the treatment with antivirals (therapy) of active carriers, (c) the pre-emptive use of antivirals (prophylaxis) in inactive carriers, especially if they are undergoing immunosuppressive therapies judged to be at high risk, (d) the biochemical and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) monitoring (or universal prophylaxis, in case of high risk immunosuppression) in subjects with markers of previous contact with HBV (HBsAg negative and anti-HBc positive), in order to prevent reverse seroconversion. Moreover it is suggested a strict adherence to criteria of allocation based on the virological characteristics of both recipients and donors in the general setting of transplants and in liver transplantation the universal prophylaxis with nucleos(t)ides analogues (frequently combined with specific anti-HBV immunoglobulins) in HBsAg positive candidates and in HBsAg negative recipients of anti-HBc positive grafts.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                KBR
                Kidney Blood Press Res
                10.1159/issn.1420-4096
                Kidney and Blood Pressure Research
                S. Karger AG
                1420-4096
                1423-0143
                2014
                July 2014
                23 June 2014
                : 39
                : 1
                : 65-73
                Affiliations
                aDivision of Hepatology, S. Giuseppe Hospital and University School of Medicine, Milano, Italy; bDivision of Hepatology, University School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA; cDivision of Nephrology, Maggiore Hospital and IRCCS Foundation, Milano, Italy
                Author notes
                *Fabrizio Fabrizi, M.D., Division of Nephrology, Maggiore Hospital, IRCCS Foundation,, Pad. Croff, Via Commenda 15, 20122 Milano (Italy), Tel. (39 2) 55034552, Fax (39 2) 55034550, E-Mail fabrizi@policlinico.mi.it
                Article
                355778 Kidney Blood Press Res 2014;39:65-73
                10.1159/000355778
                25011658
                © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Open Access License: This is an Open Access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC) ( http://www.karger.com/OA-license), applicable to the online version of the article only. Distribution permitted for non-commercial purposes only. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Pages: 9
                Categories
                Case Report

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