, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 1237-1241
Date: 10 May 2011

The effect of prophylactic lamivudine on hepatitis B virus reactivation in HBsAg-positive patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma undergoing prolonged rituximab therapy

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The association of prolonged rituximab therapy and hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and the role of lamivudine prophylaxis remain undefined. The prevalence and mortality of HBV reactivation in HBsAg-positive patients with DLBCL undergoing rituximab-based treatment, who received prophylactic treatment with or without lamivudine, were retrospectively analyzed. From January 2003 to December 2009, there were 50 patients enrolled in the study, among of which 30 received the prophylactic treatment of lamivudine and 20 without prophylactic treatment of lamivudine. Among of the 50 patients, seven patients received further rituximab maintenance, once every 3 months for 2 years. Compared with lamivudine treatment group, it showed that there was significantly higher prevalence of HBV reactivation (60.0% vs 13.3%, P = .001), severe hepatitis (45.0% vs 6.7%, P = .004), and mortality (25.0% vs 3.3%, P = .032) in non-lamivudine prophylactic group; however, there was no statistically significant difference in the HBV DNA levels at reactivation (3.94 × 106 vs 8.30 × 105 copies/ml, P = .47) and the time from first dose of rituximab to HBV reactivation(207 vs 386 days, P = .28). For patients undergoing further rituximab maintanence treatment, the prevalence and mortality of HBV reactivation were 71.4 and 28.6%, respectively. The prevalence and mortality of HBV reactivation are 66.7% vs 75.0% (P = 1.00) and 0 vs 50.0% (P = .43) in lamivudine prophylactic and non-lamivudine prophylactic groups, respectively. The effect of lamivudine prophylaxis on preventing HBV reactivation was found to be less in patients undergoing longer duration of rituximab treatment. A longer duration of rituximab treatment contributed to higher morbidity and mortality of HBV reactivation in HbsAg-positive patients with DLBCL. Further study is warranted for the optimal management of hepatitis caused by HBV reactivation

Xiao-Qin Chen and Jie-Wen Peng contributed equally to this work.