Local tissue electrical parameters predict oral mucositis in HNSCC patients: A diagnostic accuracy double-blind, randomized controlled trial

Sci Rep. 2020 Jun 12;10(1):9530. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-66351-9.


Oral Mucositis (OM) is a common adverse effect of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) treatment. The purpose of this study was to investigate the significance of early changes in tissue electrical parameters (TEPs) in predicting the development of OM in HNSCC patients receiving radiation therapy (RT). The current study combined two study designs. The first was a case-control study. The control group comprised of RT patients who did not receive head and neck RT, and patients with HNSCC who received RT comprised the case group. In the second part of the study, the case group was included in a parallel cohort. A total of 320 patients were assessed for eligibility, and 135 patients were enrolled. Double blinding was performed, and neither the patients nor the care providers knew the measured parameters. The primary outcome was the detection of between-group changes in local TEPs over the follow-up period. The secondary outcome was the appearance of OM grades II, III, or IV and the predictive value of local TEPs in determining the incidence of OM after RT. The variables, impedance module, resistance, reactance, phase angle, and capacitance, were analyzed by the receiver operator curves (ROC). The case and control groups did not differ in demographic and clinical characteristics. Radiation therapy increased the local impedance module, resistance, reactance, and phase angle and reduced the local tissue capacitance in both groups. Evaluation of TEPs in the first week of RT correlated with the development of OM lesions during cancer therapy. ROC analysis showed that local impedance module and resistance presented higher specificity than did other parameters in predicting OM. In conclusion, local tissue electrical parameters measured at the first RT week can be useful tools to predict oral mucositis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't