A patient with viral hepatitis C may develop a chronic arthropathy.


Clinical features:

(1) The patient has a history of viral hepatitis C.

(2) The patient may have arthralgias or an arthritis, which can be severe.


Some patients may have findings closely resembling rheumatoid arthritis, including the presence of rheumatoid factor. The patient may have:

(1) symmetrical polyarthritis

(2) nondeforming arthritis

(3) primarily involvement of small joints

(4) minimal morning stiffness

(5) absence of rheumatoid nodules

(6) absence of antibody to cyclic citrillinated peptide (CCP)


Other patients develop a cryoglobulin-related arthritis:

(1) mono or oligo articular

(2) nondeforming arthritis

(3) involvement of medium or large joints

(4) cryglobulinemia


Imaging findings:

(1) absence of bone erosions in affected joints


The diagnosis is one of exclusion. However, due to the frequency of hepatitis C infections it is always possible that an arthropathy may be due to more than one condition.


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