High prevalence of occult hepatitis B virus infection in patients with B cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
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- Chen, MH., Hsiao, LT., Chiou, TJ. et al. Ann Hematol (2008) 87: 475. doi:10.1007/s00277-008-0469-9
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Several reports recently found that patients with B cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) had a higher carrier rate of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). The current study aimed to examine the hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection status of NHL patients in Taiwan, an HBV-endemic area. Serum HBV and serum hepatitis C virus were measured in 471 NHL patients and 1,013 non-lymphoma cancer patients enrolled between February 2000 and March 2007. Furthermore, nested polymerase chain reaction of HBV-DNA was used to examine the sera from selected patients in these two populations and healthy volunteers for the presence of occult HBV infection. The infection rates (as indicated by the rates of HBsAg and occult HBV) were compared between different groups. There was a higher incidence of HBV infection in B cell NHL patients (23.5%), especially patients with diffuse large B lymphoma, than solid tumor patients (15.6%, P = 0.001). Among HbsAg-negative patients, those with B cell NHL had a higher prevalence of occult HBV infection (6%) than those with non-lymphoma solid tumors and healthy volunteers, 0% and 0.9%, respectively (P = 0.005). B cell NHL patients, even HBsAg-negative B cell NHL patients, but not T cell NHL patients, have a higher incidence of HBV infection than patients with solid tumors. Our findings support the etiologic role of HBV infection in B cell NHL.