Chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) can result in both hepatic and extrahepatic disease and endocrine dysfunction represents an important class of HCV-related extrahepatic disease. The most frequently occurring--and clinically important--of these endocrine disorders are thyroid disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. In this Review, we evaluate the evidence in support of a link between HCV infection and endocrine-system dysfunction, and discuss potential pathophysiological mechanisms. A meta-analysis of the literature has revealed significant associations between chronic HCV infection, thyroid autoimmunity and hypothyroidism. Furthermore, a high prevalence of thyroid cancer has been reported in HCV-positive patients. Several clinicoepidemiological studies have demonstrated that chronic HCV infection could lead to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus, possibly as a result of HCV-induced metabolic disturbances. Some researchers have postulated that a type 1 T-helper -cell mediated immune response underpins the association of chronic HCV infection with endocrine disease. Indeed, the available data suggest that a common immunological, type 1 T-helper cell pattern of cytokine expression and activation (via interferon-gamma) could provide the pathophysiological basis for this association. Nonetheless, additional studies will be necessary to elucidate fully all the mechanisms involved in HCV-related endocrine dysfunction.
|Autori:||Antonelli A; Ferri C; Ferrari SM; Colaci M; Sansonno D; Fallahi P.|
|Titolo:||Endocrine manifestations of hepatitis C virus infection.|
|Anno del prodotto:||2009|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|