Fatal Hepatitis C after Chemotherapy in a Patient with Malignant Lymphoma: Possible Reactivation of Seronegative Occult Hepatitis C Virus Infection Due to Chemotherapy


Intern Med. 2020 Nov 16. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.4768-20. Online ahead of print.


A 79-year-old man with lymphoma who tested negative for anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody received rituximab-containing chemotherapy. Liver dysfunction of unknown cause had persisted since the second cycle of chemotherapy. Ten months after treatment, he rapidly developed massive ascites and atrophy of the liver, and we detected HCV RNA in his serum using real time polymerase chain reaction. Furthermore, medical interviews showed that the patient had no episodes for acute HCV infection, but

he did have a history of unspecified liver dysfunction. These findings support the possibility of the reactivation of seronegative occult HCV infection due to chemotherapy in a cancer patient.