Frequency of Hepatitis C in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis


avatar Mohammad Javad Ehsani Ardakani 1 , * , avatar Alireza Rajaei 1 , avatar Hamid Mohaghegh Shalmani 1 , avatar Negin Shahid 1 , avatar Mohammad Mehdi Emam 1 , avatar Nahid Mohammadzadeh 1 , avatar Seyed Javad Mirhassani Moghaddam 1 , avatar Mohammadreza Zali 1

Research Institute for Gastroenterology and Liver Disease, Shahid Beheshti University, M.C., Tehran, IR Iran

how to cite: Ehsani Ardakani M J, Rajaei A, Mohaghegh Shalmani H, Shahid N, Emam M M, et al. Frequency of Hepatitis C in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Arch Clin Infect Dis. 2009;4(1): 39-43. 



Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been explained as a disease that sometimes present with rheumatic manifestations indistinguishable from rheumatoid arthritis. This study has been performed to evaluate the frequency of hepatitis C virus infection in a group of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Patients and methods:

In this study, during one year, serum samples collected from two hundred consecutive patients with rheumatoid arthritis in all affiliated hospitals of Shaheed Beheshti University, M.C., were examined for anti-HCV antibody and HCV-RNA by ELISA and RT-PCR method, respectively. Using a questionnaire, the frequency of HCV infection, age and sex distribution, duration of rheumatoid arthritis, associated immune mediated disorders and risk factors for hepatitis C virus infection were assessed.


A total of 200 patients (M/F=26/174) who were mainly aged 51-70 years were studied. The frequency of HCV was found to be 2% (95%CI: 0.6-7%). All of the infected persons have had a low risk occupation in terms of exposure to the virus and none of them had HCV risk factors. No associated immune mediated disorder was found in HCV infected patients.


Our results did not support any contribution of HCV infection in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis.

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