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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


HERNANDEZ MORENO, Ana et al. Chronic enteritis in patients undergoing pelvic radiotherapy: prevalence, risk factors and associated complications. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2015, vol.32, n.5, pp.2178-2183. ISSN 1699-5198.

Introduction: the radiation of tumours located in pelvic organs can cause mucositis in the bowel. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence, risk factors, and complications of chronic radiation enteritis in patients who had received pelvic radiotherapy. Patients and methods: cross-sectional study recruiting 150 patients that had been treated with radiation therapy during the year 2008 because of a prostate, cervical, endometrial or rectal cáncer. The patients were asked about symptoms related to enteritis, and about changes in body weight and in dietary patterns. Sex, age, treatment modalities, acute enteritis, and type of cáncer were considered possible risk factors, and were analysed with univariate and multivariate methods. Results: the study included 100 patients, 84% males, median age 72.3 years. Chronic radiation enteritis was found in 20% of the patients, most of them grade 1 (45%). Furthermore, 10% had lost ≥ 5 kg of weight, 3% had been hospitalized due to diarrhoea or bowel obstruction, and 11% had changed their diet, mainly by removing vegetables, legumes and pastry. Male gender, age, previous acute radiation enteritis, and chemotherapy were associated with chronic enteritis, but only chemotherapy remained independently related to bowel toxicity after multivariate analysis (OR = 3.59 [95% CI]). Conclusion: chronic enteritis is common among patients treated with pelvic radiotherapy, especially if chemotherapy is associated. The complication rate is low, but a significant number of patients change their usual diet in order to prevent symptoms.

Keywords : Enteritis; Radiotherapy; Cancer; Diet; Malnutrition.

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