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Gastroenterology. 1991 Jan;100(1):182-8.

Reactivation of hepatitis B virus replication in patients receiving cytotoxic therapy. Report of a prospective study.

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Department of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital.


One hundred Chinese patients who received induction cytotoxic therapy for malignant lymphoma were prospectively studied to determine the incidence, morbidity, mortality, and predisposing factors for reactivation of hepatitis B virus replication during cytotoxic therapy. In 18 (67%) hepatitis B surface antigen-positive and 10 (14%) hepatitis B surface antigen-negative patients, hepatitis developed during cytotoxic therapy (P less than 0.0001). Hepatitis could be attributed to exacerbation or reactivation of chronic hepatitis B in 13 (72%) hepatitis B surface antigen-positive patients but in only 2 (20%) hepatitis B surface antigen-negative patients (P less than 0.0001). Sudden increase or reactivation of hepatitis B virus replication gave rise to icteric hepatitis, nonfatal hepatic failure, and death in 22.3%, 3.7%, and 3.7% of patients who were positive for hepatitis B surface antigen; in 2%, 2%, and 0% of those positive for hepatitis B antibodies; and in none of those who were seronegative. Among the hepatitis B surface antigen-positive patients, male sex was the only factor that was associated with an increased risk of reactivation of hepatitis B virus replication. We recommend that hepatitis B surface antigen-positive patients with malignancies receiving cytotoxic therapy be closely monitored.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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