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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2012 Feb;47(2):265-70. doi: 10.1038/bmt.2011.63. Epub 2011 Mar 28.

Long-term oral complications of allogeneic haematopoietic SCT.

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  • 1Department of Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Special Needs Dentistry, Westmead Centre for Oral Health, Westmead Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


This study assessed the incidence of long-term oral complications in 88 survivors of allogeneic haematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Patients examined were between 6 months and 6 years post-HCT and aged from 19 to 65 years. Subjects were investigated for both the subjective and objective features of long-term adverse oral effects of HCT. The most common oral symptoms reported were xerostomia (44%, n=39) and reduction in taste (20%, n=18). Only a minority of patients (15%) reported that oral disease had a significant adverse impact upon their quality of life. The majority of patients (53%) had clinical markers of oral chronic GVHD (cGVHD). The most frequently identified feature was salivary hypofunction, with 34% of subjects demonstrating a reduction in stimulated saliva. Oral mucosal changes consistent with cGVHD affected 21% of subjects. Oral cGVHD commonly occurs after allogeneic HCT, often coexists with cutaneous, hepatic or ocular cGVHD and may lead to debilitating symptoms. Transplant type and pre-existing acute GVHD are the major risk factors for oral cGVHD. The identification of risk factors specific for oral cGVHD may allow clinicians some foresight into identifying patients at high risk of developing oral cGVHD and encourage attention to education, regular oral surveillance and rigorous preventative oral health strategies both pre- and post-transplant.

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