2011 Volume 50 Issue 9 Pages 1065-1068
We report a 48-year-old man who developed rheumatoid arthritis (RA) after a successful treatment with peg-IFN-alpha plus ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. He had a history of smoking and a single copy of the HLA-DRB1 shared epitope (SE). In a retrospective analysis, he exhibited the anti-CCP antibodies before the start of IFN plus ribavirin treatment. However, the titers of anti-CCP antibodies and BAFF levels were elevated by the IFN plus ribavirin therapy. These observations suggest that IFN plus ribavirin therapy may work as a "trigger" for RA in genetically and environmentally predisposed individuals by affecting the cytokine network.