Pathogenesis and clinical consequences of iron overload in chronic hepatitis C- impact of host and viral factors related to iron metabolism
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Chronic hepatitis C virus infection is a leading cause of progressive liver fibrosis, liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Iron overload is frequently observed in cases of chronic hepatitis C and has been suggested as a negative prognostic factor for this disease. Although the mechanisms leading to iron accumulation are not fully explained yet, both host and viral factors seem to contribute towards the development of this pathology. Better understanding of the interplay between hepatitis C virus replication and expression of iron regulatory molecules may elucidate new and interesting targets for the effective treatment of chronic hepatitis C.
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K. Sikorska, Department of Infectious Diseases, Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland