Send to

Choose Destination
Dig Dis Sci. 1999 May;44(5):973-8.

Natural history of late radiation proctosigmoiditis treated with topical sucralfate suspension.

Author information

Department of Gastroenterology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.


Rectal bleeding due to radiation proctosigmoiditis is often difficult to manage. We had earlier shown the efficacy of short-term therapy with topical sucralfate in controlling bleeding in the radiation proctosigmoiditis. We now report our long-term results with this form of therapy. The study comprised 26 patients with radiation proctosigmoiditis. Sigmoidoscopically, 9 (34.6%) patients had severe changes, 15 (57.69%) had moderate, and 2 (7.69%) had mild changes. Severity of bleeding was graded as severe (> 15 episodes per week), moderate (8-14 episodes per week), mild (2-7 episodes per week), negligible (< or = 1 episode per week), or nil (no bleeding). Ten patients had moderate rectal bleeding, while 16 had severe bleeding. All patients were treated with 20 ml of 10% rectal sucralfate suspension enemas twice a day until bleeding per rectum ceased or failure of therapy was acknowledged. Response to therapy was considered good whenever the severity of bleeding showed improvement by a change of two grades. Rectally administered sucralfate achieved good response in 20 (76.9%) patients at 4 weeks, 22 (84.6%) patients at 8 weeks, and 24 (92.3%) patients at 16 weeks. This change was significant by Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks test. Two patients required surgery due to poor response. Over a median follow-up of 45.5 months (range 5-73 months) after cessation of bleeding, 17 (70.8%) patients had no further bleeding while 7 (22.2%) had recurrence of bleeding. All recurrences responded to short-term reinstitution of therapy. No treatment-related complications were observed. Ten patients had other associated late toxicity due to pelvic irradiation in the form of asymptomatic rectal stricture (N = 3), rectovaginal fistula (N = 1), intestinal stricture (N = 1), vaginal stenosis (N = 1), and hematuria (N = 6). Three patients had progression of the primary disease in the form of pelvic recurrence (N = 2) and hepatic metastases (N = 1). We conclude that topical sucralfate induces a lasting remission in a majority of patients with moderate to severe rectal bleeding due to radiation proctosigmoiditis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center