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A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Odontostomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery
Indexed/Abstracted in: CAB, EMBASE, Index to Dental Literature, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index




Minerva Stomatologica 2015 August;64(4):189-202


language: English, Italian

Oral complications of head and neck radiotherapy: prevalence and management

Germano F. 1, Melone P. 1, Testi D. 1, Arcuri L. 2, Marmiroli L. 3, Petrone A. 3, Arcuri C. 1

1 Odontostomatology Department, S. Giovanni Calibita FBF Hospital, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy; 2 Odontostomatology, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy; 3 Radiotherapy Department, S. Giovanni Calibita FBF Hospital, Rome, Italy


AIM: The aim of the study was to evaluate the short-term and long-term toxicity caused by radiation treatment in the head and neck with the technique of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT).
METHODS: We selected 20 patients, 18 men and 2 women aged between 21 and 71 years, undergoing radiation therapy (IMRT) in head and neck. Patients were visited during radiotherapy and followed for six months after the end of the therapy. We assessed the presence of: mucositis, xerostomia, dysgeusia, dysphagia, pain, trismus and, in the case of late-onset complications, radiation cavities.
RESULTS: Acute toxicity: in 20 patients, 18 reported mucositis, 19 xerostomia, 17, dysgeusia, 15 dysphagia, 18 had pain and 3 patients had trismus. Tardive toxicity: in 14 patients, 5 reported mucositis, 11 xerostomia, 6 dysgeusia, 2 dysphagia, 3 had pain, 4 trismus and in 4 patients were found radiation cavities.
CONCLUSION: Acute complications with higher prevalence were xerostomia (19 of 20 patients), dysgeusia of 2nd grade (11 patients of 20), mucositis of 1st grade and pain of 1st grade (10 patients of 20). Among the late complications it was noted a maintenance of the high prevalence of xerostomia (11 patients of 14) and an increase in prevalence of trismus (4 patients of 14) against a reduction of all other complications. The presence of radiation cavities in 4 patients of 14 was also recorded.

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Cite this article as

Germano F, Melone P, Testi D, Arcuri L, Marmiroli L, Petrone A, et al. Oral complications of head and neck radiotherapy: prevalence and management. Minerva Stomatol 2015 August;64(4):189-202. 

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