Ocular manifestations of hepatitis C virus infection

Michael E. Zegans, William Anninger, Christopher Chapman, Stuart R. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Approximately 3.6 million persons in the United States are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), a condition with both hepatic and extrahepatic sequelae. Although no pathognomonic manifestation of HCV infection in the eye has been demonstrated, associations between HCV infection and various ocular syndromes have been reported in small case series and individual patients. At this time, the ocular manifestations of HCV infections best supported by the literature include a dry eye syndrome similar to Sjögren syndrome, and ischemic retinopathy caused by either an HCV-induced vasculitis or treatment with interferon. Patients with diabetes seem to be more susceptible to interferon retinopathy and to subsequent permanent visual loss. There have been no cases of HCV transmission via corneal transplantation, suggesting that current cadaveric screening protocols are effective in preventing this route of transmission. Screening for HCV should be considered in patients with risk factors for HCV infection who suffer from unexplained ischemic retinopathy or dry eyes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-427
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Ophthalmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2002


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