Treatment of patients with psoriasis and concomitant hepatitis-C virus (HCV) infection poses a therapeutic challenge because most systemic drugs are associated with potential hepatotoxicity, either due to direct liver damage or to immunosuppression. Among newly available drugs for the treatment of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, studies investigating the effect of anti-tumour necrosis factor-α in such patients are still limited. We describe three psoriatic patients with HCV, one with concomitant alcoholic hepatitis, who were treated with etanercept monotherapy for six months. We obtained good clinical responses for both psoriasis and arthritis in all three patients. While no significant changes in viral load and transaminases were observed in two patients, alanine aminotrasferase and gamma-glutamyltransferase levels were raised during treatment in the patient with concomitant alcoholic hepatitis. At baseline, one patient was negative and two were positive for mixed-type cryoglobulins. During treatment, none of the patients developed cryoglobulinemia-related clinical symptoms, and one of the two patients positive at baseline was negative for cryoglobulins at the end of follow-up. Our results add to accumulating data suggesting that etanercept represents a valuable therapeutic option for treatment of HCV-positive psoriatic patients, with an acceptable safety profile in the short-term. However, etanercept treatment of HCV cases with concomitant alcoholic hepatitis must be undertaken with caution.
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