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Revista Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7299


VOLPATO, Luiz Evaristo Ricci et al. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis. Rev. Bras. Otorrinolaringol. [online]. 2007, vol.73, n.4, pp.562-568. ISSN 0034-7299.

Tincreasing the intensity of radiation therapy and chemotherapy in the management of cancer has increased the incidence of adverse effects, especially oral mucositis. AIM AND METHODS: a bibliographical review was conducted on the definition of oral mucositis, its clinical findings, the incidence, its etiology, the pathofisiology, associated morbidity, prevention and treatment. RESULTS: current studies define oral mucositis as a very frequent and painful inflammation with ulcers on the oral mucosa that are covered by a pseudo membrane. The incidence and severity of lesions are influenced by patient and treatment variables. Oral mucositis is a result of two major mechanisms: direct toxicity on the mucosa and myelosuppression due to the treatment. Its pathofisiology is composed of four interdependent phases: an initial inflammatory/vascular phase; an epithelial phase; an ulcerative/bacteriological phase; and a healing phase. It is considered a potential source of life-threatening infection and often is a dose-limiting factor in anticancer therapy. Some interventions have been shown to be potentially effective to prevent and treat oral mucositis. Further intensive research through well-structured clinical trials to obtain the best scientific evidence over the standard therapy of oral mucositis is necessary to attain ideal parameters for radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Keywords : adverse effects; mucositis; chemotherapy; radiotherapy.

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