Evaluation of nutritional status in head and neck radio-treated patients affected by oral mucositis: efficacy of class IV laser therapy
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- Gobbo, M., Ottaviani, G., Perinetti, G. et al. Support Care Cancer (2014) 22: 1851. doi:10.1007/s00520-014-2155-x
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To retrospectively evaluate the role of class IV laser therapy in the amelioration of nutritional status of patients affected by oral mucositis due to radiotherapy of the head and neck region during oncological treatment.
Sixty-three oncological patients were included in this study. All patients were affected by tumors in the head and neck region and had developed oral mucositis during radiotherapy. Forty-two patients had been treated by high-power laser therapy whereas 21 patients had been managed with traditional medications. Data collection included weight measurement (kilogram) and body mass index (BMI) calculation (mass (kilogram)/(height) (square meter)) on the first and last day of radiotherapy. In addition, gender, age, pathology, and the kind of oncological treatment have been considered.
Laser-treated patients decreased less in BMI during radiotherapy (p = 0.000). Patients treated by combined oncological treatments (radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy and/or surgery) had a higher weight loss during radiotherapy (p = 0.015). According to a multivariate regression analysis, the only variable which significantly influenced the reduction of BMI was laser treatment (p = 0.000).
Laser therapy is actually considered one of the recommended remedies for the healing of oral mucositis due to cancer treatments. Healing of mucositis can deeply influence the feeding capacity of patients, through reduction of pain and improvement of chewing and swallowing capacities. It also allows lowering the costs for hospitalization and supportive care. Laser therapy should become part of nutritional interventions in oncological patients affected by oral mucositis.