Zero prevalence of hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections in clinicopathologically proven lichen planus cases: a cross sectional study at a tertiary care centre in south India

Lekshmi Sajini, Gopikrishnan Anjaneyan, Soumya Jagadeesan, Vinitha Varghese Panicker, Sreedevan V., Gopakumar ., Jacob Thomas


Background: Lichen planus (LP) is a common chronic mucocutaneous inflammatory disorder of unknown etiology. Several editorials, chapters, studies have suggested an association between hepatitis C virus and hepatitis B virus (to a lesser extent) in LP. This association was not seen in various parts of the world including India.

Methods: Patients attending the dermatology outpatient department with lichen planus confirmed by histopathologic examination were included in the study and along with clinic-epidemiological data, all the patients were tested for hepatitis B and hepatitis C infection.

Results: A total of 84 patients of clinico-pathologically proven lichen planus were included in the study out of which 31 were males and 53 were females. The most common age group of lichen planus in our study group was 40-50 years. Major histopathological findings were basal cell degeneration (92.7%), hyperkeratosis (89%), pigment incontinence (73%) and lymphohistiocytic infiltration (70%). All patients in this study group tested negative for HBsAg and anti-HCV antibodies.

Conclusions: Although numerous studies around the world have suggested an association between HCV and HBV infections with lichen planus- multiple subsequent studies including the present study shows contrasting results especially in this part of the world. The authors believe routine screening of lichen planus patients for presence of hepatitis B and hepatitis C infection is not warranted, particularly in Indian population. 


Lichen planus, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, Histopathology

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