Patients who undergo hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) frequently experience gastrointestinal toxicity as a result of their preparative regimen. The most frequent manifestation is oral mucositis (OM) and diarrhea. We studied the effects of oral care prior to HSCT on the severity of OM. Seventy patients suffering from hematologic malignancies who had undergone HSCT were divided into two groups (35 patients - Study Group [SG] and 35 - Control Group [CG]), and the severity of OM was evaluated by two calibrated dentists, using the WHO scale. The patients from the SG received oral care prior to HSCT and those from CG did not receive any dental care. The results showed no differences (p = 0.20) in the incidence or severity of OM among the groups. However, patients from the SG presented a shorter time elapsed (p < 0.001) when compared with the CG (median: 10 vs. 20 d). Our results show the importance of simple, inexpensive preventive intervention to control the time elapsed of OM, which reduces morbidity and, as a consequence, the cost of the treatment.
© 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.