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Online ISSN 1827-174X
Aim: To evaluate the clinical effects of laser therapy on the prevention and reduction of oral mucositis in patients who underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).
Patients and methods: From January 2003 to September 2004, 24 patients received prophylactic laser therapy (L+ group). The applications started from the beginning of the conditioning regimen up to day +2. The oral assessment was performed daily until day +30. This group was compared with historical controls, namely 25 patients, who did not receive laser therapy (L? group).
Results: All patients developed some grade of mucositis. However, the L? group presented initial mucositis by 4.36 days, whereas the L+ group presented it in 6.12 days (P = 0.01). The maximum mucositis occurred between day +2 and day +6 with healing by day +25 in the L? group and between day +2 and day +7 with healing by day +14 for the L+ group (P = 0.84). Laser therapy also reduced the time of oral pain from 5.64 to 2.45 days (P = 0.04), and decreased the consumption of morphine (P = 0.07).
Conclusion: This study suggests that laser therapy can be useful in oral mucositis to HSCT patients and improve the patient's quality of life. However, controlled randomized trials should be performed to confirm the real efficacy of laser therapy.