Table of Contents
New Journal of Science
Volume 2014, Article ID 180203, 9 pages
Review Article

The Unravelled Link between Chronic Kidney Disease and Hepatitis C Infection

1Division of Nephrology, Maggiore Hospital and IRCCS Foundation, 20122 Milan, Italy
2Division of Hepatology, School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA

Received 19 March 2014; Accepted 4 June 2014; Published 3 July 2014

Academic Editor: Alessandro Granito

Copyright © 2014 Fabrizio Fabrizi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The 2011 report of the World Health Organization General Assembly on noncommunicable diseases identified chronic kidney disease as a worldwide health issue posing a heavy economic burden. Hepatitis C virus infection, which is responsible for over 1 million deaths resulting from cirrhosis and liver cancer, is linked to chronic kidney disease in several ways; some forms of renal disease are precipitated by hepatitis C and patients with end-stage chronic renal disease are at increased risk for acquiring HCV. The aim of this review is to update the evidence on the relationship between hepatitis C infection and chronic kidney disease. Information has been accumulated in the last decade indicating that HCV plays an adverse effect on the incidence and progression of chronic kidney disease; a novel meta-analysis of observational studies (seven longitudinal studies; 890,560 unique individuals) found a relationship between hepatitis C seropositivity and incidence of reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (adjusted relative risk, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.20; 2.39; ) in the adult general population. In addition to conventional risk factors, hepatitis C may be an additional factor for the development of chronic kidney disease, and an atheromasic activity of hepatitis C virus has been mentioned. The link between hepatitis C and atherosclerosis could also explain the excess risk of cardiovascular mortality that has been observed among hepatitis C virus seropositive patients undergoing maintenance dialysis. A number of biologically plausible mechanisms related to hepatitis C virus have been hypothesized to contribute to atherosclerosis. Implementation of effective treatment intervention towards hepatitis C is required to decrease the healthcare burden of hepatitis C and to prevent the progression of chronic renal disease.