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Cancer. 1975 Apr;35(4):1167-78.

Radiation enteritis in children. A retrospective review, clinicopathologic correlation, and dietary management.


The clinicopathologic features of radiation enteritis are reviewed in 44 children receiving whole abdominal radiation therapy between 1961-1972 at the Institut Gustave-Roussy. Five of 14 long-term survivors (36%) developed severe delayed radiation injury with small bowel obstruction, occurring within 2 months after completion of irradiation. All had previously had acute radiation reaction during therapy. Histologic appearance in the small bowel at the time of delayed radiation injury revealed severe villus blunting, lymphatic dilatation, and moderately dense inflammatory infiltrate. All patients with delayed radiation injury showed marked clinical improvement coincident with a fractionated low-residue, low-fat diet, free of gluten and free of milk and milk products. The abnormal small bowel roentgenographs and small bowel biopsies reverted to a normal appearance in association with the diet. No exacerbation of radiation enteritis has been seen following dietary therapy.

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