B-cell Clonality in HCV-Induced Patients Treated with Oral Direct-Acting Antiviral Agents

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Specialized Medical hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt.

2 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Menofeia University, Menofeia, Egypt.

3 Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt.

4 Department of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt.


Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a worldwide’ health problem as Egypt has a very high prevalence (14.7%) that may affect the B-Lymphocytes, and in some cases leading to an expansion of monoclonal B-cell detected by immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) gene rearrangement. Therefore, we aimed to assess the occurrence of IgH gene rearrangement in Egyptian chronic HCV patients and studying the effect of oral direct-acting antiviral (DAAs) therapy on regression of the clonality markers. Methods: 78 Egyptian patients with chronic HCV infection were included in this study and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis was used to detect IgH rearrangement based on standardized PCR protocols of the BIOMED-2 international guidelines study. Results: Clonal IgH showed a significant increase of HCV-RNA expression and correlated with increased alanine transaminase (ALT) in all patients, while a significant increase of kappa and lambda free light chain observed only in clonal IgH with lymphoproliferative disorders (LPD) patients. A total of 37.17% (29/78) IgH clonality was detected in all patients (7.69% with LPD and 29.48% without LPD). 37% of these IgH clonality disappeared with HCV eradication after DAAs regimen. Conclusions: we concluded that different DAAs regimen with or without RBV is safe and effective for the treatment of Egyptian patients, but its effect is partially and not completely in the eradication of IgH clonality. Also, using IgH rearrangement in patients with chronic HCV is helpful as indicator in patients at high risk for prediction of LPD.


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