Published online Dec 21, 2013. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i47.8916
Revised: October 23, 2013
Accepted: November 12, 2013
Published online: December 21, 2013
Core tip: Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected lymphoid tissue of the host represents a site for the persistence of HCV infection which exerts a chronic stimulus to the immune system, facilitating clonal B-lymphocyte expansion and consequent wide autoantibody production, including cryo- and non-cryo-precipitable immune complexes which may lead to organ- and non-organ-specific immunological alterations. This review outlines the principal aspects of such HCV-induced immunological alterations, focusing on the prevalence of these less characterized HCV extrahepatic manifestations.