Mucositis (Oral and Gastrointestinal)



Alimentary mucositis refers to inflammatory, erosive, and ulcerative lesions of any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that occur secondary to cancer therapy. Thus, the term alimentary mucositis encompasses both oral and GI mucositis. Mucositis can be classified according to the type of cancer therapy involved as chemotherapy-induced mucositis, radiation-induced mucositis, or a combination of the two. More recently, mucositis following targeted anticancer therapies has been described, but our understanding of that is only beginning to develop. Mucositis can be very painful and can significantly affect nutritional intake, mouth care, and quality of life. It can sometimes be a dose-limiting toxicity of cancer therapy and thus have direct effects on patient survival. This chapter presents a comprehensive discussion on mucositis including its morbidity, economic impact, pathogenesis, risk factors, clinical signs and symptoms, diagnosis and complicating factors, and measurement. In addition, preventive measures, pain control, nutritional support, and therapeutic interventions (including therapies in development) for mucositis are discussed, with reference to the MASCC/ISOO clinical practice guidelines, where applicable.


Oral Mucositis Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation Severe Mucositis Patient Receive Radiation Therapy Mouth Care 
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Copyright information

© Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Oral MedicineUniversity of Connecticut Health CenterFarmingtonUSA

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