Short Communication

Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 13, Issue 7, pp 554-558

First online:

The comparative effects of povidone-iodine and normal saline mouthwashes on oral mucositis in patients after high-dose chemotherapy and APBSCT—results of a randomized multicentre study

  • Samuel VokurkaAffiliated withDepartment of Haemato-Oncology, University Hospital Email author 
  • , Eva BystřickáAffiliated withDepartment of Haemato-Oncology, University Hospital
  • , Vladimír KozaAffiliated withDepartment of Haemato-Oncology, University Hospital
  • , Jana SčudlováAffiliated withDepartment of Haemato-Oncology, University Hospital Olomouc
  • , Vladislava PavlicováAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Haematology, University Hospital
  • , Dana ValentováAffiliated withDepartment of Haematology and Transfusion Medicine, University Hospital
  • , Jana BockováAffiliated withDepartment of Haematology, University Hospital
  • , Lubica MišaniováAffiliated withDepartment of Haematology, F.D.Roosevelt Hospital

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Antimicrobial solutions are widely used in the nursing care of chemotherapy induced oral mucositis (OM). There is little evidence, however, supporting their use for reducing mucosal damage. In our study, 132 patients were randomized to use normal saline (n=65) or povidone-iodine diluted 1:100 (n=67) mouthwashes for OM prophylaxis and treatment after high-dose chemotherapy comprising BEAM or HD-L-PAM followed by autologous peripheral stem cell transplantation. The study groups were well balanced in respect of age, sex, chemotherapy and the number of CD34+ cells in the graft. No significant difference was found between the groups in respect of OM characteristics, fever of unknown origin (FUO) and other infections. The antimicrobial solution was less tolerable for patients. OM occurred significantly more often in females than in males (86% vs 60%, P=0.0016) and was worse and of longer duration. The mechanical effect of mouthwashes might have a certain importance in FUO prevention. When indicating oral rinses, the patient’s individual preference and tolerance of solutions offered should be considered.


Oral mucositis Povidone-iodine Mouthwashes Antimicrobial rinses Autologous transplantation Nursing