Hepatitis C virus infection in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

Clin Lab Haematol. 1998 Apr;20(2):107-10. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2257.1998.00110.x.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is associated with immune-complex mediated disorders, including Type II mixed cryoglobulinaemia. Mixed cryoglobulinaemia is itself a low-grade B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder which may progress to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Studies from Europe and Asia have found a prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients as high as 34%. Other viral infections are also associated with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. We speculated that non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients in the midwestern USA would have an increased prevalence of hepatitis C infection. We tested 73 patients with NHL and 20 controls with Hodgkin's disease for anti-HCV antibodies by EIA-2. Only 1/73 patients and no control subject was positive for anti-HCV. The anti-HCV positive patient had no identifiable risk factors for hepatitis C, and ALT was persistently normal. HCV-RNA testing by RT-PCR was negative. Thus, none of 73 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients could be confirmed to have hepatitis C infection. In a second part of the study, of 438 patients with HCV infection followed an average of 28.1 months, only one patient developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. We conclude that in our population, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is not associated with hepatitis C virus infection. Based on these results and review of the literature, there are marked regional differences in the prevalence of hepatitis C infection in Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Biomarkers
  • Comorbidity
  • Cryoglobulinemia / etiology
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hepacivirus / pathogenicity
  • Hepatitis C / complications
  • Hepatitis C / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / epidemiology
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / etiology
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / virology
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / epidemiology*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / etiology
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / virology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Missouri / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Biomarkers
  • Alanine Transaminase