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Brazilian Oral Research

On-line version ISSN 1807-3107


RUBIRA, Cássia Maria Fischer et al. Evaluation of some oral postradiotherapy sequelae in patients treated for head and neck tumors. Braz. oral res. [online]. 2007, vol.21, n.3, pp.272-277. ISSN 1807-3107.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the oral sequelae of radiotherapy in patients treated between 1999 and 2003 for head and neck tumors. One-hundred patients (24 women, 76 men) ranging in age from 30 to 83 years (mean 59.2 years) were examined. Time since radiotherapy ranged from 1 to 72 months (mean 28 months). The total mean radiation dose received by the patients was 5,955 cGy. The evaluation protocol included anamnesis, intraoral and extraoral examination, measurement of stimulated salivary flow and salivary pH. Symptoms reported by the patients included dry mouth (68%), dysphagia (38%), and dysgeusia (30%). In 64% of the patients, the mean stimulated salivary flow rate was less than 0.7 ml/min. The mean salivary pH was 6.97 (± 0.714). Stimulated salivary flow increased with increasing postradiotherapy time (p < 0.05). The prevalence of mucositis was associated with higher radiation doses (p < 0.05), and the prevalence of atrophic candidiasis was related to a longer post-treatment period (p < 0.05). Two cases of recurrence of the primary tumor were detected during the study. The main effect of radiotheraphy in the head and neck region was a reduction of the salivary flow rate, even though our study demonstrated that there was a modest late improvement of the salivary flow.

Keywords : Radiotherapy; Xerostomia; Saliva; Head and neck neoplasms.

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