Hepatitis B and C Virus Reactivation Patterns in a Romanian Cohort of Patients with Chronic Lymphoproliferative Disorders

  • Violeta MolagicEmail author
  • Raluca Mihailescu
  • Catalin Tiliscan
  • Cristina Popescu
  • Ana Maria Vladareanu
  • Remulus Catana
  • Mihaela Radulescu
  • Victoria Arama
  • Stefan Sorin Arama
Original Article


Hepatitis B and C virus (HBV and HCV) reactivations have become more common following the intensive use of biological therapies for the treatment of chronic lymphoproliferative disorders (CLD). We evaluate risk factors for virus reactivation and exitus in patients diagnosed with CLD and HBV or HCV infection, undergoing rituximab-chemotherapy (R-chemo). A prospective, observational study in two tertiary-care Romanian hospitals, between December 2007 and May 2010, of patients diagnosed with CLD undergoing R-chemo. HBV and HCV serological markers, viral load, fibrosis and necroinflammation were assessed at baseline and every 3–6 months. We screened 502 patients diagnosed with CLDs (77.2% non-Hodgkin lymphomas) and enrolled 57 patients with HBV and/or HCV infection with a mean age of 61.35 ± 11.1 years. The replicative virus was HBV in 23 patients (40.3%), HCV in 33 patients (57.9%). HCV reactivation rate (15.6%) was lower than for HBV (45.5%) (p = 0.02). In univariate analysis, viral reactivation was associated with aggressive CLD (p = 0.01), HBV (p = 0.01) and lymphopenia (p = 0.02). Death was associated with aggressive CLD (p = 0.01), viral reactivation (p = 0.001) and high baseline viremia (p = 0.05). In multivariate analysis, viral reactivation was associated with lymphopenia (OR 0.05, 95% CI 0.003–0.85, p = 0.03). Risk of death was 10 times higher for patients with viral reactivation (95% CI 1.54–65.5, p = 0.01). A quarter of the infected patients were diagnosed with viral reactivation. While hepatitis C was more prevalent than hepatitis B in patients with CLD, viral reactivation was found 3 times more frequently in patients with hepatitis B than C.


Lymphoproliferative disorders Hepatitis B virus reactivation Hepatitis C virus reactivation Biological therapies 



Hepatitis B virus


Hepatitis C virus


Chronic lymphoproliferative disorder


Non-Hodgkin lymphoma


Chronic hepatitis B


Chronic hepatitis C





The current study belongs to a national Grant PNCDI-II/41-012/2007, known as LIMFO-VIR.

Authors’ Contribution

All authors had equal contributions in writing this paper.

Conflict of interest

No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.

Ethical Standard

This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the National Institute for Infectious Diseases “Prof. Dr. Matei Balş” and the University Emergency Hospital Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania.


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Copyright information

© Indian Society of Hematology and Blood Transfusion 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Violeta Molagic
    • 1
    Email author
  • Raluca Mihailescu
    • 1
  • Catalin Tiliscan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cristina Popescu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ana Maria Vladareanu
    • 2
    • 3
  • Remulus Catana
    • 1
  • Mihaela Radulescu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Victoria Arama
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stefan Sorin Arama
    • 2
  1. 1.National Institute for Infectious Diseases “Prof. Dr. Matei Balş”BucharestRomania
  2. 2.Carol Davila University of Medicine and PharmacyBucharestRomania
  3. 3.Department of HematologyUniversity Emergency Hospital BucharestBucharestRomania

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