Chemotherapeutic alteration of small intestinal morphology and function: a progress report

J Clin Gastroenterol. 1979 Sep;1(3):203-7. doi: 10.1097/00004836-197909000-00003.


Nine patients with malignancy requiring chemotherapy were evaluated before, during, and in the recovery phase of their antineoplastic regimen with selected absorptive studies and jejunal biopsies. Depression of the crypt mitoses occurred without change in the indices of absorption. The mitotic indices returned to pretreatment counts on the recovery phase biopsies. Even after prolonged therapy, restudy in three of the patients failed to demonstrate clinical malabsorption. We conclude that chemotherapy-related malabsorption does not contribute to overall malnutrition of cancer patients during the first months of treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Epithelium / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption / drug effects*
  • Intestine, Small / drug effects*
  • Intestine, Small / pathology
  • Intestine, Small / physiopathology
  • Mitotic Index
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents