Influence of Oral Mucositis on Nutrition of Pediatric Oncology Patients Receiving Chemotherapy
Aim: To evaluate the effect of mucositis on nutritional status of hospitalized children receiving chemotherapy.
Subjects and Method: This study was conducted on children (n=5 female, n=8 male) aged between 3-15 years (mean 7.5±4.1 years) who were admitted to Hacettepe University Oncology Hospital, Pediatric Oncology ward to receive chemotherapy and who developed mucositis after chemotherapy. Five patients had lymphoma and eight patients had solid tumor. For each patient, anthropometric measurements and a 24-hour dietary recall were obtained, biochemical and hematologic results and appetite were evaluated before chemotherapy (starting point) and on the day that mucositis developed (end-point).
Results: Blood results (total protein, albumin, creatinine, hemoglobin, hematocrit) significantly decreased between starting and end point (p<0.05). Mean percentage of weight loss was 4.7% (p<0.05). Before chemotherapy the percentage of patients who stated “loss of appetite” were 7.7% whereas at the end-point this was increased to 100.0%. When compared to the requirements for age, energy, macro (protein, carbohydrates and lipids) and micro (A, C, B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, calcium, iron, zinc and copper) nutrients and fiber intake were all significantly decreased between starting and endpoints (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The development of mucositis is one of the side effects of chemotherapy. Mucositis may lead to nutritional inadequacy and weight loss due to its adverse effects on appetite and nutritional intake. The evaluation of mucositis development, as well as nutritional monitoring and management in cancer patients, is important to increase the success of cancer treatment.