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.