Hepatitis C–Associated B-cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Pictorial Review

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Background and Purpose

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) can induce both hepatic and extrahepatic malignancies. A strong association between HCV and non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs) has been demonstrated. The purpose of this article is to give emphasis on the clinical and imagistic particularities of the hepatitis C–associated NHL, revealing the importance of ultrasonography in discovering and characterizing splenic masses.


We present the cases of 3 women (aged 72, 61, and 56 years, respectively), all of which had a history of chronic hepatitis C and were subsequently diagnosed with different forms of lymphoma. In all 3 cases, conventional ultrasound exploration showed inhomogeneous splenomegaly. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound and computerized tomography were performed soon after admission, both clinical and imaging findings leading to the suspicion of lymphoma. The bone marrow biopsy was relevant for the diagnosis lymphoma in 2 patients, whereas the third woman only presented age-related changes in cellularity. Splenectomy was later performed in this case, for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes; histopathological examination and immunohistochemistry revealed malignant non-Hodgkin diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.


The cooccurrence of HCV infection and splenic lymphoma is a frequently encountered scenery. Ultrasonography, both conventional and contrast-enhanced, plays an important role in the exploration of the spleen, representing a first-line imagistic method and a valuable means of characterizing different types of splenic lesions.

Implications for Practice

This article states the importance of ultrasonographic evaluation regarding the splenic pathology, by revealing clinical and imagistic findings in 3 cases of hepatitis C–associated lymphoma.

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