Table 1 Baseline characteristics of the 59 patients with chronic active hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, according to the results of the serum-free light chain ratio
FeatureAll patients (n = 59)Normal FLC ratio (n = 49)Abnormal FLC ratio (n = 10)p Value
Epidemiological features:
    Sex, no. female:male30:2924:256:40.73
    Age, mean (SD) years57.2 (14.2)55.8 (14.0)64.2 (13.2)0.08
Characteristics of HCV infection:
    Genotype 1322751.00
    Genotype 213940.20
    Genotype 34401.00
    Genotype 46511.00
    Genotype 52201.00
    Not available220NR
    HCV RNA level, mean (SD) log10 IU5.9 (0.7)5.9 (0.7)5.7 (0.6)0.34
Type of B cell proliferation:
    No MC17/59 (29%)17/49 (35%)0/10 (0%)0.049
    Asymptomatic MC7/59 (12%)7/49 (14%)0/10 (0%)0.59
    MC vasculitis35/59 (59%)25/49 (51%)10/10 (100%)0.004
    MC vasculitis without B-NHL26206
    MC vasculitis with B-NHL954
Characteristics of MC:
    Positive MC42/59 (71%)32/49 (65%)10/10 (100%)0.049
    MC level, mean (SD) g/litre1.35 (2.02)0.97 (1.14)2.68 (3.52)0.32
    Type II34/42 (81%)24/32 (75%)10/10 (100%)0.16
    Type II monoclonal κ322210
    Type II monoclonal λ220
    Type III8/42 (19%)8/32 (25%)0/10 (0%)0.16
    C4, mean (SD) g/litre0.13 (0.09)0.16 (0.09)0.07 (0.06)0.045
Vasculitis organ involvement:
    Arthralgia31/59 (53%)22/49 (45%)9/10 (90%)0.01
    Purpura29/35 (83%)19/25 (76%)10/10 (100%)0.15
    Peripheral nervous system28/35 (80%)18/25 (72%)10/10 (100%)0.08
    Central nervous system4/35 (11%)3/25 (12%)1/10 (10%)1.00
    Kidney11/35 (31%)7/25 (28%)4/10 (40%)0.69
    Digestive2/35 (6%)1/25 (4%)1/10 (10%)0.50
B-NHL:9/59 (15%)5/49 (10%)4/10 (40%)0.036
    SLVL211
    Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma202
    Low-grade B-NHL220
    MALT lymphoma110
    Lymphocytic lymphoma101
    Large B-NHL110
Serum FLC assessment:
    κ, mean (SD) mg/litre31.3 (37.3)23.5 (14.2)69.6 (77.1)0.004
    λ, mean (SD) mg/litre20.5 (10.4)21.5 (10.7)16.1 (7.0)0.25
    FLC ratio, mean (SD)1.63 (1.76)1.10 (0.28)4.18 (3.28)<0.001
    Abnormal FLC ratio (>1.65)10/59 (17%)010NR
  • Except where indicated otherwise, values are no. (%). Bold text indicates a significant result.

  • B-NHL, B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma; FLC, free light chain; MC, mixed cryoglobulinemia; MALT, mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue; NR, not relevant; SLVL, splenic lymphoma with villous lymphocytes.