Korean J Dermatol.  2020 Dec;58(10):662-668.

Relation between Lichen Planus and Hepatitis C Virus Infection

  • 1Departments of Dermatology Medicine , Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea
  • 2Departments of Preventive Medicine , Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea


The etiology and pathogenesis of lichen planus (LP) are not fully understood. Several studies have reported varying prevalence of anti-hepatitis C virus antibody (anti-HCV Ab) in LP. The relationship between LP and HCV infection remains controversial.
To investigate the relationship between LP and HCV infection in Busan and Gyeongnam, Korea.
We reviewed the medical records of 84 outpatients with LP and 84 control subjects (age- and sex-matched) from 2000 to 2020. Data on age, sex, duration of disease, distribution, shape, systemic diseases, and serology of anti-HCV Ab were collected.
The prevalence of anti-HCV Ab was 1.2% and 9.5% in the control group and patients with LP, respectively. Compared with the control group, patients with LP had a higher risk of HCV infection with an odds ratio of 8.737 (p=0.034). The mean duration of disease for the eight patients with HCV-associated LP was 5.8 months, which was shorter than 15.8 months in 84 patients with LP alone. Mucosal erosive LP was observed most frequently in HCV-associated LP with an odds ratio of 9.273 (p=0.003).
HCV infection may be clinically relevant to the development of LP. Furthermore, HCV infection may accelerate the progression of LP and is possibly related to the mucosal erosive subtype. Therefore, dermatologists should perform an anti-HCV Ab screening test for patients with LP, disclosing the potential association between LP and HCV infection.


Case-control study; Hepatitis C virus; Korea; Lichen planus; Prevalence
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