, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 1265-1271
Date: 15 Nov 2012

Efficacy of prophylactic lamivudine to prevent hepatitis B virus reactivation in B-cell lymphoma treated with rituximab-containing chemotherapy

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Reactivation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a common complication in patients with HBV infection who receive cytotoxic chemotherapy. In rituximab-containing chemotherapy for B-cell lymphoma, severe hepatitis due to HBV reactivation occurred. The aim of this study is to estimate the effect of prophylactic lamivudine on the risk of HBV reactivation in patients with HBV infection who receive rituximab-containing chemotherapy.


In this study, HBV markers and liver function tests were monitored in 268 consecutive patients with B-cell lymphoma, who received rituximab-containing chemotherapy between January 2008 and November 2011. Sixty-nine patients (25.7 %) with either chronic HBV infection or past HBV infection received prophylaxis with lamivudine 100 mg daily by oral intake.


In the HBsAg-positive group, six (6/38) patients developed hepatitis, only one of which was attributed to HBV reactivation. In the HBsAg-negative and HBcAb-positive group, two (2/31) patients developed hepatitis, none of which was attributed to HBV reactivation.


These results support that prophylactic lamivudine can prevent HBV reactivation for B-cell lymphoma with HBV infection who was receiving rituximab-containing chemotherapy.