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Long-term safety of rituximab in patients with rheumatic diseases and chronic or resolved hepatitis B virus infection
  1. Ioannnis Mitroulis1,
  2. Chrisoula Hatzara2,
  3. Anna Kandili2,
  4. Emilia Hadziyannis2,
  5. Dimitrios Vassilopoulos2
  1. 11st Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Alexandroupolis, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece
  2. 22nd Department of Medicine, Athens University School of Medicine, Hippokration General Hospital, Athens, Greece
  1. Correspondence to Dr Dimitrios Vassilopoulos, 2nd Department of Medicine, Hippokration General Hospital, Athens University School of Medicine, 114 Vass. Sophias Ave., Athens 115 27, Greece; dvassilop{at}med.uoa.gr

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‘I (Dimitrios Vassilopoulos), the corresponding author of this article which is contained within the original manuscript, which includes any diagrams  photographs and any related or stand-alone film submitted (the ‘Contribution’), has the right to grant on behalf of all authors, and does grant on behalf of all authors, a licence to the BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and its licensees, to permit this contribution (if accepted) to be published in any BMJ Group products, and to exploit all subsidiary rights, as per our licence set out at (http://group.bmj.com/products/journals/instructions-for-authors/co_owned_licence.pdf).

Patients with rheumatic diseases and chronic, or less frequently, resolved hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, can develop viral reactivation during antitumor necrosis factor therapy.1–3 Treatment with chemotherapeutic regimens that includes rituximab (RTX) without prophylactic antiviral therapy, has been linked to HBV reactivation in lymphoma patients with chronic (27%–80%), or resolved (3%–25%) HBV infection.1 ,4 Since there are no data available for rheumatic patients, we studied the safety of …

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