Hepatitis C infection and lymphoproliferative disease: Accidental comorbidities?

Tawfik Khoury, Shmuel Chen, Tomer Adar, E. Ollech Jacob, Meir Mizrahi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been associated with liver cancer and cirrhosis, autoimmune disorders such as thyroiditis and mixed cryoglobulinema, and alterations in immune function and chronic inflammation, both implicated in B cell lymphoproliferative diseases that may progress to non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). HCV bound to B cell surface receptors can induce lymphoproliferation, leading to DNA mutations and/or lower antigen response thresholds. These findings and epidemiological reports suggest an association between HCV infection and NHL. We performed a systematic review of the literature to clarify this potential relationship. We searched the English-language literature utilizing Medline, Embase, Paper First, Web of Science, Google Scholar, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, with search terms broadly defined to capture discussions of HCV and its relationship with NHL and/or lymphoproliferative diseases. References were screened to further identify relevant studies and literature in the basic sciences. A total of 62 reports discussing the relationship between HCV, NHL, and lymphoproliferative diseases were identified. Epidemiological studies suggest that at least a portion of NHL may be etiologically attributable to HCV, particularly in areas with high HCV prevalence. Studies that showed a lack of association between HCV infection and lymphoma may have been influenced by small sample size, short follow-up periods, and database limitations. The association appears strongest with the B-cell lymphomas relative to other lymphoproliferative diseases. Mechanisms by which chronic HCV infection promotes lymphoproliferative disease remains unclear. Lymphomagenesis is a multifactorial process involving genetic, environmental, and infectious factors. HCV most probably have a role in the lymphomagenesis but further study to clarify the association and underlying mechanisms is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16197-16202
Number of pages6
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number43
StatePublished - 21 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Baishideng Publishing Group Inc.


  • Blood
  • Hepatitis C infection
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Pathogenesis
  • Treatment


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