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Dig Liver Dis. 2011 Feb;43(2):139-42. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2010.05.010. Epub 2010 Jun 15.

HCV-positive status and hepatitis flares in patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma treated with rituximab-containing regimens.

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  • 1Digestive and Liver Disease Dpt, Azienda Ospedaliera S Andrea, Via Grottarossa 1035-1039, 00189 Rome, Italy. mmarignani@hotmail.com



Rituximab has provided a revolutionary contribution to the treatment of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL). A high prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been described in B-cell NHL patients. Cases of liver dysfunction in HCV-positive patients have been reported with rituximab-containing regimens.


to evaluate the liver-related effects of rituximab-containing regimens on HCV-positive CD20-positive B-cell NHL patients.


Retrospective analysis of 104 consecutive patients. HCV status was determined, and development of hepatitis flares analysed.


Nine patients (8.6%) were HCV-positive. No correlation was shown between viral load and alanine transaminase levels. Three of the 9 HCV-positive, and none of the 95 HCV-negative developed hepatitis flares (p<0.001). At the 12-month follow-up hepatitis flare patients were alive and in remission for their haematological disease and no hepatitis flares, liver-related death had developed.


HCV-positive status may represent a risk factor for the development of hepatic flares in B-cell NHL patients receiving rituximab-containing regimens. Despite the increase in liver function tests, there were no major clinical events.

Copyright © 2010 Editrice Gastroenterologica Italiana S.r.l. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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