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