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Abstract

Five patients with lymphoproliferative malignancies and chronic hepatitis B suffered severe acute hepatic injury after the withdrawal of multiagent chemotherapy that included high-dose corticosteroid. Four patients died of hepatic failure, three of whom received corticosteroid as treatment for the hepatic injury. We believe that the cause of this entity is massive immune-associated cytolysis of hepatitis B virus infected hepatocytes occurring after a period of immunosuppression and increased viral replication. The literature regarding this complication of chemotherapy and its pathophysiology is reviewed.