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Oral Oncol. 2011 Sep;47(9):915-9. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2011.06.509. Epub 2011 Jul 23.

Xerostomia in children and adolescents after stem cell transplantation conditioned with total body irradiation or busulfan.

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Department of Dental Medicine, Division of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


To study salivary secretion rates and symptoms of xerostomia in children and adolescents conditioned with either radiation therapy or with chemotherapy only in the setting of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Thirty patients conditioned with 10 Gy single dose TBI (sTBI) and cyclophosphamide (Cy) 60 mg/kg for two days and 35 conditioned busulfan (Bu) and Cy as part of the preparative regimen were included in the study. All patients were treated before 13 years of age, and had survived 2-16 years after HSCT. All patients were interviewed according to a standard questionnaire on symptoms of xerostomia and the unstimulated and stimulated whole salivary secretion rate was determined. The stimulated salivary secretion rates were 0.8±0.5 ml/min in sTBI/Cy group compared to 1.1±0.6 ml/min in the Bu/Cy group (p=0.01). Dysfunction of either unstimulated or stimulated salivary secretion rates were found in 18/30 (60%) in sTBI/Cy group and 9/35 (26%) in Bu/Cy group (p<0.01). There were no differences regarding the number of xerostomia related symptoms in children conditioned with either sTBI/Cy or Bu/Cy. Both unstimulated and stimulated salivary secretion rates were inversely correlated to the total number of complaints of xerostomia. This study shows that children exhibit xerostomia after HSCT irrespective of conditioning with busulfan or sTBI. It is of importance that salivary function is evaluated and that both salivary function as well as the subjective feeling of mouth dryness is evaluated.

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