PDF: ORAL LICHEN PLANUS and Hepatitis C virus Infection: an Epidemiological Study of 149 Cases

The relationship between hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and oral lichen planus (OLP) remains a matter of controversy.

OLP is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by relapses and remissions that occurs in approximately 1% to 2% of the general population. It is a cell-mediated immune condition of unknown etiology.

HCV is a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA virus. It is a bloodborne pathogen, and important routes of transmission include blood transfusion, percutaneous exposure from contaminated needles, and occupational exposure to blood. 

After acute HCV infection, the proportion of patients who may remain chronically infected is estimated to be as high as 85% to 90%. A large proportion of these chronically infected individuals are asymptomatic carriers who may be unaware of being infected.

An association between OLP and HCV infection has been reported in the literature, especially in Mediterranean areas and Japan.

The objective of this investigation was to assess the prevalence of oral lichen planus (OLP) in Moroccan patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) from the Hepatology service of Ibn Sina University hospital of Rabat. The study group consisted of 149 patients with HCV infection.