Liver dysfunction after chemotherapy in lymphoma patients infected with hepatitis C

Eur J Haematol. 2008 May;80(5):381-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0609.2008.01039.x. Epub 2008 Jan 23.


Reactivation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in asymptomatic hepatitis B surface antigen carriers undergoing chemotherapy or immunosuppressive therapy is a well-documented complication. However, data on the consequence of chemotherapy on the course of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in HCV+ patients have been controversial. Here, we review the current knowledge about the complications related to HCV in lymphoma patients receiving chemotherapy/immunosuppressive therapy. Although less frequent than HBV, these complications occur in a subset of patients with mortality rates up to 45%. Therefore, baseline screening for HBV and HCV before initiation of chemotherapy is crucial. High-risk patients having chronic active hepatitis, high baseline HCV viral load, HBV co-infection and receiving cytotoxic drugs, corticosteroids and rituximab (particularly if combined) should be closely monitored for serum transaminase, bilirubin and HCV RNA levels.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Hepacivirus / drug effects
  • Hepacivirus / physiology
  • Hepatitis C / complications*
  • Hepatitis C / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis C / physiopathology
  • Hepatitis C / virology
  • Humans
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / physiopathology*
  • Lymphoma / complications
  • Lymphoma / drug therapy*
  • Lymphoma / immunology
  • Lymphoma / physiopathology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents