Published online Nov 27, 2013. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v5.i11.612
Revised: October 21, 2013
Accepted: November 2, 2013
Published online: November 27, 2013
Rituximab is recognized as a useful drug for the treatment of B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and its use has been extended to such diseases as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, chronic rheumatoid arthritis and ANCA-associated vasculitides. One serious complication associated with its use is the reactivation of hepatitis B virus and the search for methods to prevent this occurrence has resulted in the rapid accumulation of knowledge. In this review, we discuss case analyses from our department and other groups and outline the current knowledge on the topic and the remaining issues.
Core tip: The deleterious effects of hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation in rituximab-containing chemotherapy regimens have been reported and the effect of lamivudine treatment in the prevention of HBV reactivation is also well documented. Once reactivated, HBV may lead to death due to hepatitis. In this review, we discuss the factors of preventive lamivudine treatment (especially in the course of HBV antibody), including to whom and for how long the drug should be given, based on case studies and reports that span rituximab’s debut in 2002 on the Japanese market to June 2013.