Solving the mystery of HBV-related mixed cryoglobulinemia: potential biomarkers of disease progression

Krizia Pocino, Cecilia Napodano, Laura Gragnani, Gabriele Ciasca, Stefania Colantuono, Silvia Marri, Lorenzo Vantaggio, Francesca Gulli, Serena Lorini, Antonella Barini, Annunziata Stefanile, Luca Miele, Milvia Casato, Anna Linda Zignego, Gian Ludovico Rapaccini, Mariapaola Marino, Marcella Visentini, Umberto Basile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVES: The biomarkers of an immunological dysregulation due to a chronic Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection are indeed understudied. If untreated, this condition may evolve into liver impairment also co-occurred by extrahepatic involvements. Here, we aim to identify a new panel of biomarkers including IgG subclasses, Rheumatoid Factor (RF), and Free Light Chains (FLC) that may result useful and reliable for clinical evaluation of HBV-related cryoglobulinemia.METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed clinical data from 44 HBV positive patients. Patients were stratified on the presence/absence of mixed cryoglobulinemia in two group: 22 with cryoglobulins (CGs) and 22 without CGs. Samples from 20 healthy blood donors (HD) were used as negative controls. Serum samples were tested for IgG subclasses, RF (IgM, IgG, and IgA type), and FLC.RESULTS: We detected a strikingly different serum IgG subclasses distribution between HD and HBV positive patients together with different RF isotypes; FLC were significantly increased in HBV-patients if compared with HD while no significant difference was shown between HBV with/without MC.CONCLUSION: The immune-inflammatory response triggered by HBV may be monitored by a peculiar profile of biomarkers. Our results open new perspective in precision medicine era; in these challenging times, they could be also employed to monitor the clinical course of COVID-19 patients, at high risk of HBV reactivation due to liver impairment and/or immunosuppressive therapies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Free Light chains
  • HBV
  • IgG subclasses
  • Mixed Cryoglobulinemia
  • rheumatoid factor
  • vasculitis


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