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J Clin Oncol. 1999 Aug;17(8):2446-53.

Analysis of factors that correlate with mucositis in recipients of autologous and allogeneic stem-cell transplants.

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University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY.



To identify predictors of oral mucositis and gastrointestinal toxicity after high-dose therapy.


Mucositis and gastrointestinal toxicity were prospectively evaluated in 202 recipients of high-dose therapy and autologous or allogeneic stem-cell rescue. Of 10 outcome variables, three were selected as end points: the peak value for the University of Nebraska Oral Assessment Score (MUCPEAK), the duration of parenteral nutritional support, and the peak daily output of diarrhea. Potential covariates included patient age, sex, diagnosis, treatment protocol, transplantation type, stem-cell source, and rate of neutrophil recovery. The three selected end points were also examined for correlation with blood infections and transplant-related mortality.


A diagnosis of leukemia, use of total body irradiation, allogeneic transplantation, and delayed neutrophil recovery were associated with increased oral mucositis and longer parenteral nutritional support. No factors were associated with diarrhea. Also, moderate to severe oral mucositis (MUCPEAK > or = 18 on a scale of 8 to 24) was correlated with blood infections and transplant-related mortality: 60% of patients with MUCPEAK > or = 18 had positive blood cultures versus 30% of patients with MUCPEAK less than 18 (P =.001); 24% of patients with MUCPEAK > or = 8 died during the transplantation procedure versus 4% of patients with MUCPEAK less than 18 (P =.001).


Gastrointestinal toxicity is a major cause of transplant-related morbidity and mortality, emphasizing the need for corrective strategies. The peak oral mucositis score and the duration of parenteral nutritional support are useful indices of gastrointestinal toxicity because these end points are correlated with clinically significant events, including blood infections and treatment-related mortality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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