PATHOBIOLOGY AND TREATMENT OF HEPATITIS VIRUS-RELATED THROMBOCYTOPENIA

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Roberto Stasi
Lian Wea Chia
Pallavi Kalkur
Robert Lown
Muriel S. Shannon

Keywords

Viral hepatitis, thrombocytopenia, HCV, thrombopoietin, eltrombopag

Abstract

Thrombocytopenia is a well recognized complication of infections, including those from hepatotropic viruses. Thrombocytopenia may actually be the only manifestation of vital hepatitis, which should therefore be considered in the differential diagnosis of primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). The mechanisms of thrombocytopenia associated with viral hepatitis vary widely depending on the specific infectious agent and the severity of liver disease. Most of the studies have described thrombocytopenia in association with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, the most common cause of chronic infection worldwide. Studies have shown that treatment of HCV infection often results in substantial improvement or complete recovery of the thrombocytopenia. In patients with thrombocytopenia associated with HCV-related chronic liver disease, the use of eltrombopag, a thrombopoietin receptor agonist, normalizes platelet levels thereby permitting the initiation of antiviral therapy.


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