A prospective study on the incidence of hepatitis B & C infections amongst patients with lymphoproliferative disorders.
Dutta U. Raina V. Garg PK. Gurbuxani S. Joshi YK. Bhargava M. Tandon RK.
Department of Gastroenterology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
Fifty one patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL) undergoing chemotherapy were studied prospectively to determine the incidence, aetiology and natural course of hepatitis. Of 51 patients (31 NHL and 20 ALL), 22 developed hepatitis. Hepatitis B (IgM anti HBc positive) was the cause in 11 patients (50%), hepatitis C in 4 patients, and septicaemia and cytotoxic drugs in 3 patients each. Malignant infiltration of the liver was the cause in the remaining 1 patient. Hepatitis was predominantly (75%) anicteric. Mean duration of hepatitis was 21 days. Of 51 patients, 21 acquired hepatitis B and/or C virus infection. They had received 6.4 (+/- 3.4) units of packed red cells and 5.3 (+/- 11) units of platelet concentrate as compared to 3.4 (+/- 4.8) units of red cells and 5.3 (+/- 12.1) units of platelet concentrate received by those who did not acquire virus infection (P < 0.05 for packed red cells). Only transient stoppage of chemotherapy was necessary following development of hepatitis and most of the patients who developed hepatitis could complete their chemotherapy schedule. None of the patients who developed viral B or C infection cleared the infection. We conclude that there was a high incidence of hepatitis B and C infection amongst patients with lymphoproliferative disorders with an increased carrier rate. Transfusion was a major risk factor for such infections.