Assessing the relationship between hepatitis C virus and porphyria cutanea tarda
Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) is the most common form of porphyria, diseases that arise from decreased activity levels of enzymes in the heme biosynthetic pathway. Unlike other porphyrias that are caused by genetic mutations, PCT is often caused by exogenous factors, which include alcohol abuse, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Many studies have shown that there is an overlap in the population of patients who have PCT and HCV infection. HCV infection, in particular, causes inflammation and fibrosis in the liver, and disrupts overall homeostasis of the body, especially with respect to iron metabolism. Both diseases present symptoms that are either the cause or the effect of iron overloading in the liver. Iron overloading leads to oxidative stress in the body which further propagates symptoms of PCT and HCV. This review will investigate the causes, symptoms, and treatment modalities for patients with PCT and HCV infection. It will also evaluate the risk factors, such as iron overload and oxidative stress, which may contribute to the overlap among patient populations with the two diseases.
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University