, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 316-322
Date: 23 Sep 2008

A case of lamivudine-sensitive de novo acute hepatitis B induced by rituximab with the CHOP regimen for diffuse large B cell lymphoma

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A case of de novo acute hepatitis B that showed symptoms of general malaise and anorexia during rituximab therapy with the CHOP regimen for diffuse large B cell lymphoma is reported. Lamivudine was strikingly effective, showing a rapid recovery from liver damage with jaundice. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA in serum became and stayed undetectable even after the withdrawal of lamivudine, although HBsAg remained positive over 42 months from the onset. Liver biopsy showed a picture suggestive of acute viral hepatitis with multinucleated giant hepatocytes and CD38-positive plasma cell infiltration into liver parenchyma. Immunohistochemically, CD3-positive T-cells were predominant cells that infiltrated in liver parenchyma, whereas CD20-positive B cells were essentially null. Hence, it is suggested from these findings that B lymphocytes might be crucial for the continuous latency in HBV infection and may give rise to de novo acute hepatitis B if totally deleted. Moreover, the CHOP regimen might have some additive effects with the repeated on–off use of corticosteroids to the onset of the disease. In addition, significance of plasma cell infiltration in this setting is discussed.