Late lethal hepatitis B virus reactivation after rituximab treatment of low-grade cutaneous B-cell lymphoma

Br J Dermatol. 2006 Nov;155(5):1053-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2006.07451.x.


The chimeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, rituximab, is a promising treatment for cutaneous B-cell lymphomas. Classically used in combination with a multiagent-chemotherapy regimen, it can sometimes give excellent results alone. Because of its selective action on B lymphocytes, it is considered a moderate immunosuppressant in terms of infection. We describe a woman with relapsed cutaneous follicular centre B-cell lymphoma and secondary lymph-node involvement treated with rituximab alone, which induced a complete remission. One year later, she experienced a fatal hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation. Several such HBV reactivations were reported after combined rituximab and multiagent chemotherapy for B-cell lymphomas. This is the first case of HBV reactivation occurring during the year following rituximab monotherapy in the absence of any other immunosuppressive factor.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B / chemically induced
  • Hepatitis B virus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / drug therapy*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / pathology
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / drug therapy
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / pathology
  • Rituximab
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Virus Activation / drug effects*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Rituximab