Sucralfate in the prevention of radiation-induced oral mucositis

Cengiz M., Ozyar E., Ozturk D., Akyol F., Atahan I., Hayran M.

JOURNAL OF CLINICAL GASTROENTEROLOGY, vol.28, no.1, pp.40-43, 1999 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/00004836-199901000-00009
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.40-43
  • Keywords: radiotherapy, head and neck cancer, mucositis, sucralfate, RADIOTHERAPY, SUSPENSION
  • Acibadem Mehmet Ali Aydinlar University Affiliated: No


Radiotherapy-induced mucositis decreases the quality of life by impairing eating, swallowing, and talking and by disturbing sleep. Mucositis may also predispose to local and systemic infections and may cause interruption of radiotherapy course. We studied the efficacy of sucralfate suspension in the prevention and management of oral mucositis and pain during radiotherapy in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, prospective trial. Twenty-eight patients with head and neck cancer were included in the study. The patients were randomized to use either sucralfate mouth washing (n = 18) or placebo washing (n = IO) during irradiation. Oral mucositis and symptoms were assessed by the same physician using Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Acute Radiation Morbidity Scoring criteria. All patients developed varying degrees of radiation-induced mucositis. Grade 4 mucositis was not encountered in any patient. One patient had grade I, seven patients grade 2, and two patients grade 3 mucositis in placebo group. In sucralfate group, nine patients each had grade I and grade 2 with no grade 3 mucositis. Patients in the sucralfate,group experienced significantly lower degree of mucositis than placebo group (p < 0.05). Sucralfate mouth washing is beneficial in decreasing the intensity of radiation-induced mucositis and oral discomfort. It is cheap, easy to administer with no serious side effect, and may be routinely used in patients receiving head and neck radiotherapy.