Evaluation of short-chain fatty acid enemas: treatment of radiation proctitis

Am J Gastroenterol. 1996 Sep;91(9):1814-6.


Background: Radiation proctitis is a common complication of abdominal and pelvic radiotherapy; unfortunately, there is no established effective therapy for radiation proctitis. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) have been effectively used to treat a variety of colitides. We sought to determine whether SCFA enemas have a role in the treatment of radiation proctitis.

Methods: Seven patients completed an open-labeled, pilot study to evaluate the effect of SCFA on clinical, endoscopic, and pathological parameters of radiation proctitis.

Results: Four weeks of treatment with SCFA enemas resulted in clinical improvement in all patients. There were modest, but not significant, changes in endoscopic and pathological parameters.

Conclusion: SCFA are a promising therapeutic option in radiation proctitis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Enema*
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Proctitis / drug therapy*
  • Proctitis / etiology
  • Radiation Injuries / drug therapy*


  • Fatty Acids, Volatile