Extranodal lymphomas associated with hepatitis C virus infection

Valeria Ascoli, Francesco Lo Coco, Marco Artini, Massimo Levrero, Maurizio Martelli, Francesco Negro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection may be complicated by non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. We describe eight cases of B-cell extranodal non-Hodgkin's lymphoma occurring during the course of chronic HCV-related hepatic disease (low- grade of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue [MALT]-type; diffuse large cell; Burkitt; diffuse small cell). Some were localized to the liver (2), liver and spleen (1), spleen (1), peritoneal cavity (1), parotid gland (1); others manifested in the nasopharynx (1) and eyelid (1) but were accompanied by nodal disease. Four lymphomatous specimens available for molecular analysis exhibited clonal immunoglobulin gene rearrangements, lacked bcl-2, bcl-6, c- myc genes and p53 alterations, and did not contain replicative intermediate HCV RNA, as documented by a strand-specific reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Low levels of positive-strand HCV RNA were detected in a single hepatic lymphoma, suggesting the presence of the virus in residual hepatocytes. The antigen-driven properties of HCV-associated B-cell malignant neoplasms may be considered for hepatic MALT-type lymphoma, which probably originated from lymphoid tissue acquired during long-standing HCV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-609
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Pathology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • B cell
  • HCV genotype
  • Immunoglobulin heavy-chain rearrangement
  • Liver
  • Lymphoma
  • Strand-specific reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction [RT- PCR]

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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