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Leuk Res. 2016 Nov;50:46-49. doi: 10.1016/j.leukres.2016.09.014. Epub 2016 Sep 17.

Delayed HBV reactivation in rituximab-containing chemotherapy: How long should we continue anti-virus prophylaxis or monitoring HBV-DNA?

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First Department of Internal Medicine, Kansai Medical University, Japan. Electronic address:
First Department of Internal Medicine, Kansai Medical University, Japan.


Reactivation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a well-recognized and potentially fatal complication in patients treated with chemotherapy for lymphoid malignancies. Although several guidelines recommend antiviral prophylaxis and/or monitoring for HBV-DNA, there is no consensus over what time period these should occur. Clinically, we have encountered delayed reactivation of HBV infections and have reported 12 cases of reactivation in patients. Among them, five patients developed HBV reactivation more than a year after they completed their chemotherapy. This means there can be a delayed HBV reactivation and prolonged monitoring of more than a year after cessation of chemotherapy may be needed. Hence, the current recommendation of stopping antiviral prophylaxis 6-12 months after the cessation of chemotherapy may not fully protect all patients from HBV reactivation. The optimal duration of follow-up needs to be determined, and until better guidelines are set, there is no choice but to keep monitoring patients for reactivation for as long as practicable.


Carrier; Delayed reactivation; Reactivation; Resolved/occult HBV infection; Rituximab

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