Hepatitis C virus in pelvic lymph nodes and female reproductive organs

Kazuo Sugiyama, Nobuyuki Kato, Masanori Ikeda, Tetsuya Mizutani, Kunitada Shimotohno, Tomoyasu Kato, Yuko Sugiyama, Katsuhiko Hasumi

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Based on epidemiological evidence, hepatitis C virus (HCV) is thought to be involved in the etiology of not only hepatocellular carcinoma, but also lymphoproliferative diseases. In addition, our previous studies using recently developed cell culture systems that support HCV replication have indicated that HCV possesses both hepatotropism and lymphotropism. To determine whether HCV is present in extrahepatic organs, we conducted semi-quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction for the 5' non-coding region of the HCV genome in surgical specimens (lymph nodes, ovary, uterus, peripheral blood mononuclear cells [PBMCs] and serum) from three patients with gynecological cancer. We found relatively high HCV genome titers in the lymph nodes, not in the sera, irrespective of various titers in PBMCs. These results suggest that lymph nodes may play an important role in the carrier state and the persistence of HCV infection. Moreover, contrary to expectation, high titers of the HCV genome were observed in the ovaries and the uteri, suggesting the feasibility of mother-to-infant and spouse-to-spouse transmissions of HCV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)925-927
Number of pages3
JournalJapanese Journal of Cancer Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV)
  • Lymph node
  • Ovary
  • Uterus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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