Another life-threatening complication of HCV

Epidemiological studies have shown a causal relationship between B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) (Hepatology 2012; 55: 634-641).  This is not simply an association but a cause and effect.

The cited reference reviews several aspects of this relationship including the mechanisms of lymphoproliferation, the epidemiology, the clinical manifestations, the treatment, the prognosis, and preventive measures.

  • With regard to epidemiology, the odds ratios are between 2.4 and 5.2.  This is a small risk compared to hepatocellular carcinoma.
  • Management: Lymphoma may regress with HCV treatment, indicating a role for HCV in pathogenesis.   HCV treatment may prevent the occurrence of B-NHLs as well.  For aggressive lymphomas, patients require systemic treatment with rituximab-based regimens (1st line treatment).
B-NHLs are not nearly as important as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma in terms of mortality and morbidity in patients with HCV.  It is nevertheless quite significant considering the number of infected persons worldwide.
Other related posts on HCV:

Additional references:

  • -Gastroenterology 2011; 140: 1182. Increasing HCC/Cirrhosis in HCV pts.
  • -Clinical Gastro & Hep 2008; 6: 451. HCV associated with increased risk of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. OR was 1.8 among n=4784 cases of NHL/n=6269 controls
  • -Clinical Gastro & Hep 2008; 6: 459. Overweight & obesity increase risk of HCC. n=1431 chronic HCV patients; 36% developed HCC over 10 year f/u. OR 1.9 of HCC if overweight & 3.1 OR of HCC if obese.
  • -NEJM 2002; 347: 89-95. regression of splenic lymphoma w HCV treatment.

1 thought on “Another life-threatening complication of HCV

  1. Pingback: Looking ‘Sily’ taking this herb? | gutsandgrowth

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