Acta Oncol 2008 ;47(3):355-9
Department of Medicine I, Medical University Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
Introduction: A recent series from Italy has suggested a pathogenic link between hepatitis C virus and MALT lymphoma of the ocular adnexa. The hypothesis of our study was to prove this concept in Austrian patients with MALT lymphoma of the ocular adnexa.
Materials And Methods: A total of 45 patients presenting with MALT lymphoma of the ocular adnexa were assessed for the presence of infection with hepatitis A, B and C. Furthermore, extensive staging to evaluate the extent of disease along with analysis of Helicobacter pylori-infection, the presence or absence of autoimmune diseases (AD) and assessment of MALT-lymphoma specific genetic changes was performed.
Results: Only 2/45 (4%) patients were tested positive for hepatitis C, while 10/45 (22%) had an underlying AD and 15/39 (38%) had HP infection. Chromosomal aberrations were detected in 19 (54%) of 35 patients analyzed. Disseminated disease was a significant risk factor for relapse (p=0.014).
Discussion: Our series suggests that infection with hepatitis C is not a significant contributor to the pathogenesis of ocular adnexal MALT lymphoma in the Austrian population, while a substantial proportion of these patients suffer from autoimmune conditions.