, Volume 88, Issue 4, pp 375-377
Date: 23 Aug 2008

Analysis of reactivation of hepatitis B virus in the treatment of B cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Hokkaido

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Dear Editor,

Despite the low immunosuppressive effects of rituximab, severe viral infections due to varicella zoster virus, parvovirus B19, cytomegalovirus, and JC papovavirus are sometimes associated with its use [15]. Several investigators have also reported fatal hepatitis due to hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation [69]. Because HBV reactivation has been observed frequently since the administration of rituximab was approved in Japan, we analyzed HBV reactivation in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients treated with chemotherapy at seven institutions in Hokkaido between 1997 and 2007. We sent research heads at these institutions questionnaires asking them to evaluate HBV reactivation after chemotherapy with and without rituximab and lamivudine prophylaxis. The physicians at all seven institutions responded to these questionnaires, and in this retrospective analysis we evaluated the data for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients with HBsAg (HBV carriers). All the patients enrolled in this retro ...