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Br Dent J. 2009 Nov 14;207(9):E17; discussion 428-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2009.977. Epub 2009 Nov 6.

Xerostomia and chronic oral complications among patients treated with haematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

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Department of Oral Biochemistry, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), Vrije Universiteit and Universiteit van Amsterdam, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



To assess the severity of xerostomia (subjective dry mouth) in haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) patients and to investigate the association of xerostomia with other chronic oral complications.


Cross-sectional study.Study participants and methods Participants were 48 patients with a history of HSCT recruited among members of the Dutch Stem Cell Transplantation Contact Group, and a comparison group of 41 age- and sex-matched individuals. Data were collected using the Xerostomia Inventory (XI score) and a seven-item oral health questionnaire.


HSCT patients had a higher XI score than the comparison group, and a greater severity of several oral complaints: painful oral mucosa, altered taste, limited opening of the mouth and problems with tooth brushing. HSCT patients did not report greater pain during cold stimulation of teeth, chipped and cracked teeth or bleeding gums. In HSCT patients, the XI score correlated significantly with the severity of oral mucosal pain, altered taste, limited opening of the mouth, painful teeth following cold stimuli, chipped or cracked teeth, problems with tooth brushing and bleeding gums. In the comparison group, no correlations were observed between XI score and these oral problems.


HSCT patients have more severe xerostomia, which is associated with other oral complaints. Dental professionals should monitor these patients post-transplant for oral complications. Symptoms of dry mouth should be relieved and secondary complications should be prevented.

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