The risk of a hepatitis flare is high in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who are positive for antibodies to HCV (anti-HCV), but the use of immunosuppressive therapy is not related to HCV reactivation in these patients, a new study found.

The results suggest that HCV infection has little impact on the clinical appearance of SLE, according to M-Han Chen, division of allergy-immunology-rheumatology at National Yang-Ming University in Taipei, Taiwan, and colleagues.

“We did not find any difference in immunological profile between anti-HCV-positive and -negative SLE patients,” they wrote.

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