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Editorial |

The Relationship Between Lichen Planus and Hepatitis C Clarified

Michael Bigby, MD
Arch Dermatol. 2009;145(9):1048-1050. doi:10.1001/archderm.145.9.1048.
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Looking at the literature about the association of lichen planus (LP) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection brings to mind the parable about blind men examining different parts of an elephant and coming to different conclusions about its appearance. Using meta-analysis of well-selected case-control studies, Shengyuan et al1 provide a complete picture. From their analysis of the data, they conclude that the association exists in some regions (eg, East and Southeast Asia, South America, the Middle East, and Europe) but not in others (eg, North America, South Asia, and Africa).

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Meta-analysis performed with MIX software (version 1.7).17,18 A, North America; B, Africa; C, South Asia. CI indicates confidence interval; OR, odds ratio. The numerators are the numbers of patients with hepatitis C virus detected; the denominator, the total studied; “exposed” refers to patients with lichen planus; and “control” is the control group.

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